1. Agriculture World

Agriculture Secretary Asks Officials to Conduct Training & Awareness Programmes to Control Locust Attack

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

As per the instructions of the Union Minister of Agriculture, Secretary of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Sanjay Agarwal chaired a high-level meeting on Desert Locust Control. All the senior officials from the State Governments of Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan along with officers from External Affairs Ministry, Home Ministry, National Disaster Management Authority & CMD of HIL (India) Limited, Agriculture Commissioner and Special Secretary, DAC&FW attended the meeting.

During the presentation, operations done to control locust attack from May 2019 to February 2020, challenges faced & its achievements were discussed. In addition, losses caused by locust attack in Gujarat and Rajasthan and status of support under the SDRF/NDRF were also discussed. It was told that Inter-Ministerial teams had visited both the abovementioned states to review the crop loss so that extra funds, if required could be issued from NDRF as per norms.

Control Operations were assessed and the Secretary DAC&FW appreciated the cooperation & coordination between State Governments & Central Government Departments. The meeting also discussed next year’s plan in detail as per the inputs from different stakeholders. It was planned that Centre will organize Awareness campaigns or training for State Government Officials/Revenue Department officials/ BSF personnel/farmers at village level.

Agarwal asked officials to conduct training & awareness programmes in all four states (Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab & Haryana) in March-April.

The report of FAO’s senior Locust Forecasting Officer, who visited India last month, was also discussed.

Considering this year’s experiences, the Secretary DAC&FW suggested to strengthen joint coordinated efforts with Locust Warning Organization, BSF, Farmers and State Agriculture Department. He assured that all required help will be provided to State Governments for locust control.

The meeting also proposed to reinforce the control capabilities, logistics (pesticide, tractors etc.) in States & Central level & capacity building programmes would be conducted for this.

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