New Delhi, May 20. 2020.

Five states – Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh – are affected by the swarms moving at great speed.

“As of today, there are active swarms of immature locust in Barmer, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Bikaner, Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Sikar, Jaipur Districts in Rajasthan and Satna, Gwalior, Seedhi, Rajgarh, Baitul, Devas, Agar Malwa district of Madhya Pradesh,” the ministry said on Wednesday.

In Maharashtra, officials reported that the swarm split into two groups after pesticide was sprayed between Monday night and Tuesday morning. One group is moving towards Parseoni in Nagpur while the other entered Bhandara, said officials.

“The swarm travelled over 100 km on Wednesday from Andhalgaon, Mohadi taluka back into Ramtek tehsil in Nagpur, and again into Tumsar Bhandara. They have settled at orchards surrounding Temani,” said Ravindra Bhosale, divisional joint director agriculture.

The state agriculture department issued a ‘locust warning alert’ for all 11 districts in Vidarbha and four districts in north Maharashtra.

In view of rising concerns of possible locust attack, the Odisha government on Wednesday issued guidelines for farmers in the state and asked them to take preventive steps suggested in this regard.

As preventive measures, farmers need to spray their crops with a solution based on neem seeds extract mixing with water or they can also spray their crops with neem-based pesticides available in the market by mixing with water as suggested in the guidelines.