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Drones to be Used at Night to Fight the Locust Swarms: Agriculture Ministry

Garsha Sai Nitesh
Garsha Sai Nitesh

As the locusts swarms invade in the country are increasing in unprecedented level, government is looking for different ways to fight this crisis. The Department of Agriculture is now looking for drones that can fly at night and stay in the air for long hours to fight the locust during the night.

This declaration comes over one month after India’s civil aviation regulator gave its nod to use drones in anti-locust operations, making India the first country to do so.

This decision comes in the time when the locust swarm attacks increasing in many states and recently the swarms invaded millennial city Gurgoan for the very first time. This tells the danger level of the swarms.

West Africa is seeing a continuous attack of locust this year which indicates future attacks of the swarms and such present decision will help the country. “Locusts are highly inactive after sunset, so it makes complete sense to spray at night. We are also in talks with the manufacturers who have drones powered by fuel, so they can stay airborne for a longer duration in the night,” said Atish Chandra, joint secretary, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Department of Agriculture.

The ministry is presently preparing an extended list of requirements that will be sent to the civil aviation department for permission. Though deploying drones looks like a small action in large agriculture fields when we do it in more numbers the effectiveness of the fight increases.

Drones help in spraying chemicals at a faster phase compared to humans and also have the ability to reach inaccessible places where the locust can hide. Drones are an effective way to fight the swarms. However, they may not be as cheap as the traditional methods Indian farmers use to fight the locust.

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