New Delhi: – The union agriculture ministry informed that India has become the first country to control the locust swarm using drones. A few days ago, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations also praised the Indian effort to control the locust swarm using drones. The locust swarm which came into Rajasthan from Pakistan, in April, has damaged more than a hundred thousand hectares of agricultural land. Therefore, drones were used to counter this swarm in Bikaner and Ajmer, in the state of Rajasthan.
After finalising the protocol to use drones and getting the requisite permissions, the drones were pressed into service to control the locust swarm. The union agriculture ministry informed that India is the pioneer in the use of drones for this purpose. As of today, 12 drones are being used to counter the swarm in Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Nagaur and Jodhpur, and the experiment is proving to be successful.
Till 21st June, the swarm has been controlled on 114,026 hectares in the states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Efforts are still being taken to control the swarm in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The locust swarm is ready to attack fresh crops in the next few days. Therefore, the union agriculture ministry is working on finishing the locust swarm. Therefore, the union agriculture ministry indicated that after the drone experiment is successful in Rajasthan, drones will be deployed in the other six states.
The FAO of the United Nations also praised the Indian experiment for controlling the locust swarm using drones. The FAO has appealed to the other countries to replicate the experiment. The union agriculture ministry expressed confidence that these drones developed under the Make in India initiative will make valuable contributions in the agricultural sector.