Drone helps foil locust attack in fields near Indo-Pak border

Drone helps foil locust attack in fields near Indo-Pak border

Our Correspondent

Abohar, February 2

A drone was effectively used to foil the attack of thousands of locust swarms, which had reportedly invaded through Naggi, a border village of West Punjab province of Pakistan, into Sriganganagar district. The 10-hour-long operation was completed by Friday evening, officials said.

Sub-Divisional Magistrate Mool Chand Loonia today visited the area to review the situation. He appreciated the farmers for informing the matter and their assistance.

Dr Raj Pal Jhajharia, assistant director, Agriculture Department, said it was perhaps the biggest invasion of the locust since it had crossed the aerial border, that is, in the first week of January.

It was spotted in a dozen villages of Srikaranpur tehsil on Thursday evening. The insect stopped near Chak 24H village, covering about 5 km at night. Hundreds of farmers came out of their houses carrying utensils and other things to create noise. They informed officials of the Agriculture Department and the district authorities.

A private insecticide manufacturing company provided a drone and two fire tenders were rushed from Sriganganagar. Eight tractors equipped with spray gadgets and three falcon machines were also arranged. For each sortie, two litres of insecticide and eight litres water was mixed to facilitate the spray from the drone. The farmers who were assisting the authorities said the exercise proved effective. The segment was now free from the insect, they said.

The attack had affected about 1,600 hectares of land, which was spread over 41 villages located close to the Indo-Pak border in Sriganganagar district, however, the loss was not estimated to be above 25 per cent, the officials said in a report sent to the state headquarters, adding that rain and hailstorm had hit the district for two days in this week which proved helpful in tackling the menace.

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