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Odisha Govt issues SOP to tackle possible locust crisis

Bhubaneswar: In view of influx of locusts spreading across the country, Odisha Government on Monday issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to tackle possible crisis.

An SOP has been issued for all the districts. As part of precautionary measure, a control room will be set up in all the districts and the field officers have been assigned to create awareness about locusts attack among farmers, informed Agriculture Special Secretary Suresh Kumar Vashist after a high-level meeting at Krushi Bhawan in Bhubaneswar on Monday.

The arrival of locusts completely depends upon the Monsoon and wind speed. In this regard, the senior officials have kept vigil on movement of locusts.

Vashist said that around 8 lakh farmers are in helpline group and 6.5 lakh farmers are active in WhatsApp group.

The awareness is being spread among the farmers on five major points based on suggestions made by the technical team of Central Government. We are keeping close eyes on movement of locusts in neighbouring states including Andhra Pradesh, said Agriculture Director M Muthukumar.

This apart, the State government has issued an alert message to all the field functionaries of Agriculture Department to create awareness and monitor the movement of migratory pest regularly.

The Agriculture officials have been directed to hold awareness programme on locust control through different mass media, WhatsApp groups, voice SMS, m-Kissan, Ama Krushi Odisha, Community Radio Stations and video conferencing.

It is to be mentioned that the migratory pests have wrecked havoc on farms in five states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The locusts have started arriving in Chhattisgarh. In view of this, Odisha Government has asked the Agriculture Department to be prepared to face possible crop devastation.

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