After drones, swarms of locusts from Pak worry Punjab

After drones, swarms of locusts from Pak worry Punjab

Captain Amarinder warned that any failure to control these swarms could lead to serious implications on the agricultural production in India. (Credit: AP Photo)

After drones, a spate of attacks on crops by swarms of locusts from Pakistan has left border state Punjab deeply concerned.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct the Union Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian High Commission in Islamabad to immediately take up the issue of locust attack with the Pakistan government from where the pests were emanating.

In a letter to the PM on Tuesday, the CM said that there has been a sustained attack of locust swarms on crops in Rajasthan recently. A significant number of these pests have also entered the neighbouring areas of southern Punjab.

“Although Rajasthan has been taking the required action to control this locust attack, the best method of control is to manage the breeding ground itself, which incidentally falls in the adjoining desert area of Pakistan,” he wrote. The CM emphasized the need to take up this issue directly with the Government of Pakistan and press them to take effective steps to sanitize the breeding areas of these locusts.

Captain Amarinder warned that any failure to control these swarms could lead to serious implications on the agricultural production in India, especially in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat which will ultimately affect the commodity prices and food security of the country.

"The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, which is mandated to control locusts internationally, may also be asked to take effective steps in Pakistan to control breeding to ensure that these do not develop into dangerous swarms which can cause havoc to crops," he said, adding that helicopters and drones for spraying insecticides to control the spread of the pestilence could also be put to use.