The Covid-19 pandemic has already taken a toll in the country. With more than 8 lakh cases, India now has a shorter doubling rate. And to top this, we have the locust attack returning after a gap of 26 years.
Though the government has been taking attentive notice of the daily rising Covid cases, it has hardly taken any strong measures to tackle the locust attacks. The farmers are led to deal with it by themselves. So serious the problem is, that people demand it to be a national emergency. This will help the farmers to claim insurance compensation for the loss.
Farmers have now taken to Twitter to express their problem. #tiddi_roko_kisan_bachao has been trending on twitter, to draw the attention of the authorities.
Locust Attack In India
Starting in April, various states in the country have experienced the attack. Trans-border swarms of locust have traveled to Maharashtra, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in the past months. A total of 90,000 hectares in 20 districts of Rajasthan have been affected by the locust attack in the past months.
Not only this, but a report by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation says that more locust swarms are expected to reach India in July. Now, this time it becomes more serious because July is the month of Kharif crops. And a locust attack in this season can affect the rural economy to a great extent.
What steps the government have taken?
The government in different states have taken various approaches to tackle the issue. For example in Rajasthan, drones were employed to spray chemical pesticides. In Uttar Pradesh, control rooms were set to monitor their movement. Also, they asked the farmers to make noise to scare away the locust. Therefore, either the farmers were left to deal themselves or chemical pesticide was used.
What do the farmers demand?
Farmers demand the government to stop the use of chemical fertilizers. This is because it can have huge side-effects. Not only chemicals affect the crop but also, the water bodies and the food chain. Therefore the farmers want the use of non-chemical methods. This way the crops can be saved while locusts are being tackled.
Written By Shiwangi, She is doing her Masters in Mass Communication from GGS IP University, New Delhi.