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Natural Solution to Control Locust Attack says, BSc Agriculture Students, Rai Technology University Bangalore, Karnataka

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

Farmers are facing unprecedented crises of Lockdown, Locust Attack, Cycloneetc and especially at present the Locust menace is causing serious damage to agriculture. India is using drones and fire trucks to fight its worst locust invasion in almost 30 years, while China is considering sending 200,000 ducks into Pakistan to help with the locust problem they are having. We’ve reached the “send in the ducks” level of 2020. Who even suspected there was such a thing?

An agricultural expert behind the scheme says a single duck can eat more than 200 locusts a day and can be more effective than pesticides. Millions of the insects have also been devastating crops in parts of the whole world. Lu Lizhi, a senior researcher with the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said that while chickens could eat about 70 locusts in one day a duck could devour more than three times that number. According to Lu the Ducks are to be sent to Pakistan's worst-affected areas of Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab provinces. The only problem we see is the high temperature in Pakistan. It is so said that in 2000, China shipped 30,000 ducks from Zhejiang province to Xinjiang to tackle an infestation of locusts.

The First Locusts in India were observed in Banaskantha District, Gujarat. The Climate, moisture conditions of soil and greenery provided ideal conditions for it to lay eggs. Locust migration is based on wind direction. The wind blew the locusts to parts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. After June 2, it is predicted that the wind blows to south side to Karnataka, Telangana and Andra Pradesh. Their invasion in India is destroying agriculture crops in various states. The outbreak of desert locust which is threatening the food supply across the region too. Most of the scientists worried finding solutions to prevent the attack.

To control the locusts there were many measures including chemical and natural methods which were being reported by many government and non-government agencies. All of them said the best way to control locust invasion is spray neem seed decoction over plants. Neem is a strong repellent & also a fertilizer. None of the chemicals are effective against these insects. But, one of the innovative farmer Padmasree Chinthala Venkat Reddy (CVR) has suggested one method to control them. His method is to spray soil on the crop.  Collect 30 kg soil below 1 feet of the land and mix it with 200 litres water. Let it settle for 5 min and spray supernatant on plants on all parts.

When they feed on the crop, they will unable to digest the soil and die eventually. Like this we can stop the spreading of their population and save the crop. After 2 days of attack, water will be sprayed on plants to remove the soil. This method is already using by many of the farmers to get rid of many insect pests.

But what attracted me the most was a group of BSc Agriculture students 1) GiriAbhilash, 2) Peddainti Mohan Yadav.3) B. Pavan Kumar Naik, 4). GayatriSamanvitaand 5) P.Chaitanya from Rai Technology University, Bangalore, Karnataka who found a small solution tocontrol the locust attack from farmers field and they also say 60 percent of grasshoppers and locusts will be able to be controlled by this method.They are also closely working with farmers to analyse the results of the study.

There is small procedure which farmers have to follow, they say:

Aa a first step we have to take upper layer of soil and sieve it thoroughly and sieved fine soil should be 500gms and wooden charcoal powder 500gms. Both ingredients add into 15-20 litres of water. After that add 20 ml of calcium solution mix it well and spray on crops. Also we can add 1 kg of jaggery for stickinesson leaves.

They also reason out that when the locust will try to feed leaves along with the soil particles alongwith the charcoal powder. Active cations present on coal shows catalysing reaction so that

locust cannot able to digest soil particles and coal. So, it works effective in controlling locust

and calcium plays a important role. Generally, air enters into the locust body through tiny

holes i.e., spiracles. When the locust try to breath, the holes present on the locust body will

close and the  locust dies.Jaggery acts like gum(stickiness) on leaves andalso sweet smell attracts insects. 

The concept of using is explained as below :

Soil clay having nanoparticles are gummy in  nature and will settle on leaf surface and when insect eats leaf with soil particles they will not get digested and also enter the breathing system.: Sunlight when falls on fine charcoal powder present on leaf surfaceemits fine lighting and reflects to insect compound eyes.Fine charcoal having Nano particles are binding in nature and sticky and sharp edged too when enters the insect digestive system is not digestable and it also doubles up as a repellant. Lime water: Lime water causes wounds because of it some acidic nature  and causes the damage to insect outer body skin automatically.

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