Locust Attack's  SOLUTIONS | UPSCMost Effective Ways To Overcome Locust Attack’s Problem | UPSC

      HEADLINES:

Everything about desert locusts — and how to control them amid COVID-19 crisis

      WHY IN NEWS:

The unprecedented behaviour of desert locusts is a cause of concern, for India is facing the worst locust attack in about 27 years.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Agriculture

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS this article will render most easily available solutions for Locust attack.

For MAINS we have to understand the genesis of the issue . Let us dive in !

      ISSUE: 

  From Yemen to Indo-Pakistan border, how the swarms made way into India — and how the situation should be monitored

Locusts at a Rajasthan village. Photo: Mool Ram Saran

  • DESTRUCTION : Locust invasions are dramatic and sudden — and they destroy everything green that comes in their way.
  • GROWTH : Heavy rains triggered the growth of vegetation in arid areas of southern Iran and southwest Pakistan where locusts then grew and bred.
  • MIGRATION : These locusts migrated to India in early 2020 and found greener pastures due to pre-monsoon rains in March-May.
  • MOVEMENT : Locust are short-horned grasshoppers move together as bands and swarm over long distances crossing over countries and continents rapidly.
  • LIFE CYCLE : They take rapid advantage of the climate and geography, survive in temperature range of 0-60 degrees Celsius and prolong or cut short their life cycle.
  • SUCCESSION : During the course of one or two successive generations, they change in shape and colour to become bold yellow from the neutral brown.

LEADING EVENTS

  ORIGIN : Cyclones Mekunu (May) and Luban (October) of 2018 hit the Arabian Peninsula and caused unusual spell of rain in the deserts of Somalia, Oman and Yemen.

  • FAVOURABLE CONDITIONS :  Extended humid conditions gave rise to favourable breeding conditions for locusts for almost nine months, which remained undetected and hence, uncontrolled.
  • JANUARY 2019 :  first swarms of locusts left the Empty Quarter desert to Yemen, Saudi Arabia and southwest Iran.
  • FEBRUARY TO JUNE 2019 : Widespread spring breeding in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iran led to the formation of a large numbers of swarms.
  • UNSUCCESSFUL OPERATIONS : But control operations were largely unsuccessful in Iran and Yemen.
  • JUNE-DECEMBER 2019: Swarms invaded the Indo-Pakistan border from Iran; up to three generations grew in the summer breeding in India.

  CYCLONIC EFFECT : Owing to the three cyclones in the Arabian Sea — Vayu (June 10-17), Hikaa (September 22-25) and Kyarr (October 24-November 1) — and early monsoon rains, widespread rains took place between June and November, particularly in locust-infested areas.
 

  • GREEN VEGETATION : These extended rains created excellent breeding conditions and led to the development of lush green vegetation in Rajasthan and Gujarat, on which the locusts could feed.
  • PINK SWARMS : In October, more locust swarms arrived from the west and laid eggs that upon getting congenial environmental conditions, developed into pink swarms.

COMBATING STRATEGIES: SHORT-TERM MEASURES

  • ROBUST APPROACH : A robust approach by the Union government agencies and various departments of states is required for effective desert locust control.
  • EARLY STAGE : Locusts are most vulnerable when they are in the hopper stage.

  MINIMISE PESTICIDES : To minimise environmental damages, pesticides, which are active for a short time, should be used.

  • LIVESTOCK PRECAUTIONS : At the same time, farmers should be advised to not take their livestock for grazing in area being sprayed on with pesticide for at least one week.
  • WARNING : The Locust Warning Organisation deals with locust crisis in India.
  • RESOURCE MOBILISATION :As part of the locust control measure, the central government deployed multiple resources and established temporary control camps.
  • DRONES : Drones will also be used to spray pesticides on tall trees and inaccessible places for effective control of locusts.
  • AERIAL SPRAY : Plans to deploy helicopters for aerial spray are afoot.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

LONG-TERM MEASURES

  India has also proposed a trilateral initiative with Pakistan and Iran for effective locust control.

  • TRACKING : The Indian Meteorological Department should provide the wind pattern data for proper tracking of the movement of locust swarms.
  • PROTECTIVE GEARS : Some of them include wearing face masks, hand gloves, personal protective equipment, washing hands, observing social distancing and observing personal hygiene to protect.
     SOURCES:DOWNTOEARTH |Most Effective Ways To Overcome Locust Attack’s Problem | UPSC

 

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