Locusts Plague: Havoc Created by the Desert Locusts in the Indian Subcontinent

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Locust plague is an invasion of swarms of locusts that attacks crops, they belong to the family of grasshoppers. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, a locust swarm of one square kilometer nearly eats the same amount of food as 35,000 people can in one day. In India, states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, UP have been worst affected by a locust plague. Recently in Feb 2020, Pakistan had declared the National emergency due to desert locust plague while India faced the worst attack of locust in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.

 

India is facing the crisis of locust invasion but what technical measures must be taken to combat locust plague in the best possible manner? Are we able to handle the crisis with the existing legislation? We have the east Punjab agricultural waste disease and noxious weeds Act (1949) which has been criticized for anachronistic nature as under Section 4(1)(2)(ii) of this act, the male members of the infected area are called for the service with drums or any customary modes to produce sounds. but this mode cannot be taken into consideration for different stages of locust attack.

 

Disaster Management Act, 2005: This is the fundamental legislation if there's a need to prevent or to deal with disaster management. Section 2(e) of this act defines disaster management as a continuous and integrated process of planning, organizing, coordinating, and implementing measures. In the N. D Jayal Union of India, the Supreme court noted that disaster management means all aspects of planning and taking measures to prevent, minimize, or stop the spread of disaster. So, there is a need to take preventive steps as locusts can move freely and can damage crops across the country. Although this act attempts to control the threat of locust there's still a lack of direction as to what steps to be taken. More incentives and relief need to be given to farmers. The government should focus on the technological up-gradation of the agricultural industry. We know the importance of the agricultural industry then why we are not doing anything for its protection and development. Our ex-Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shashtri depicted the importance of agriculture and farmers and he also gave the slogan 'Jai Javan, Jai Kisan'

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