Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Tuesday asked the border districts to remain on high alert for a possible invasion by locust swarms.
The directive of the government came during a high-level review meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Lok Seva Bhawan here.
Briefing the media after the meeting, Director, Agriculture and Food Production M Muthukumar said that the locust swarms have returned to Madhya Pradesh due to the wind direction from Chhattisgarh. However, there is a possibility of them entering Odisha.
“To counter the threat, we have prepared a contingency plan and kept adequate stock of pesticides. Apart from this, the Agriculture Department is in touch with the Fire Services Department and if necessary, they will use large sprayers to drive out the swarms,” he added.
Present on the occasion, special secretary, Agriculture, SK Vashisht said that the districts bordering Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have been asked to stay on high alert. The Agriculture Department has sensitized the District Agriculture Officers (DAOs) and issued advisory for about 15 lakh farmers of these districts.
“This apart, the state government has also discussed the issue with the neighbouring states to constantly monitor the movement of the locust swarms,” he pointed out.