The recent menace created by the locust invasion in the country has left farmers in a spot of deep bother. Sweeping over crops and vegetation in their path, these locusts have wreaked havoc in farms, especially in the states of Maharashtra and Rajasthan. As these insects continue to threaten the agricultural sector in the country, several state governments have sounded alert to keep any possible invasion at bay. Meanwhile, a few videos claiming locust invasion in Anantapur and Northern regions of Andhra Pradesh have been going viral on social media of late, triggering concerns among the locals. Brushing away these claims, Minister for Agriculture in Andhra Pradesh, Kurasala Kannababu, stated that no locust swarms have entered the state.
Addressing media persons at the VMRDA Children’s Arena in Visakhapatnam on Monday, Mr Kannababu said that locust swarms have not entered Andhra Pradesh. Responding to the posts in social media that claimed locusts entering Anantapur and Srikakulam in the state, the Minister said, “The photos on social media, claiming that locust swarms have entered Andhra Pradesh, were sent to Entomology professors for verification. Upon studying them, the professors clarified that the insects spotted are grasshoppers that generally eat Aak (Jilledu) plants.”
It may be noted that recently, experts ruled out the claims of locust attack in Andhra Pradesh. Noting that the locals mistook grasshoppers for locusts, they further assured there was no need to panic.
Meanwhile, farmers in all 24 districts of Jharkhand have been advised to stay vigil in view of the locust attacks in the country. The current locust attack in India is being regarded as the worst in decades even as the country continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic on one hand. The swarms of locusts are reported to have already destroyed about 50,000 hectares of cropland in Western and Central parts of India.