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Massive locust invasion from Pakistan ruins crops in Gujarat, Centre rushes 11 teams to help

It is being believed that this has been the deadliest locust attack in Gujarat since the year 1994

Farmers in Gujarat are now worried as they are facing massive locust invasion from Pakistan, the neighbouring country the state shares its border with. It is being believed that this has been the deadliest locust attack in Gujarat since the year 1994.


The locusts, known as tiddis locally arriving from desert areas of Pakistan, descended in and around 20 talukas in the state including, Banaskantha, Mehsana, Kutch, Patan and Sabarkantha districts over the last few days and wreaked havoc on standing crops of mustard, fennel, castor, cumin, jatropha, cotton, and potato, and fodder grass.

To deal with the menace, the central government has rushed 11 teams to Gujarat. “To tackle the menace, 11 central centres have arrived in Gujarat. They will take all necessary steps, including spraying of pesticides, to contain the attack. The teams will remain in the state until the problem is solved,” a senior government official told PTI.

During his visit to Vadodara on Wednesday, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that 11 teams sent by the Centre have begun work to check the locust menace. The state government is also exploring the possibility of using drones to spray insecticides, he said.

“The insect has come from Oman side and due to wind directions, it got diverted to North Gujarat”, said State Agriculture Minister R C Faldu, also informing that insecticides were being sprayed on crops hit by locust attack.

Read: Karachi faces locust attack, Pakistani minister urges people to eat them in Biriyani

The Gujarat government on Thursday also promised compensation for farmers in Banaskantha district and other areas of North Gujarat which are facing a massive locust attack over the last two weeks.

In Banaskantha, crops over 5,000 hectares have been damaged, said a senior official.

According to reports, though the damage in the adjoining districts of Patan, Mehsana, Kutch and Sabarkantha has been contained and brought under control with preventive measures, the government officials said that “since this insect changes its course of travel based on the wind direction, we can’t predict or rule out any possibility of attack in coming days.”

 

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