Locust invasions till July, may spare South India: FAO

Locust invasions till July, may spare South India: Food and Agriculture Organisation

Swarms of locust in the walled city of Jaipur, Rajasthan. (PTI file photo)

The Food and Agriculture Organisation has warned of successive locust invasions until July in Rajasthan with eastward surges as far as Bihar and Odisha.

However, the FAO has said that the swarms were less likely to reach south India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

According to the FAO Bulletin, adult locusts were forming groups and small swarms in spring breeding areas in Pakistan and Iran. These infestations will move to the summer breeding areas along the India-Pakistan border from the Cholistan to Tharpakar.

The locust swarms would begin their westward movements and return to Rajasthan on the changing winds associated with the monsoon.

The Home Ministry has now allowed expenditure from the State Disaster Relief Fund for locust control operations.

Civil Aviation regulator DGCA has warned airlines that the locust swarms pose a serious threat to flights while landing and take-offs.

“As far as possible, it is strongly advised that flights should be avoided through any known Locust swarm. The only favourable aspect is that locusts do not fly at night, thus providing a better opportunity to sight and avoid them” the DGCA said asking pilots to share information about swarms observed during the course of the flight.