On June 30, India deployed a helicopter and more than a dozen drones to spray insecticide to stop the spread of desert locusts that have spread to nine parts of the country, Reuters reported. India, the world’s second-largest rice and wheat producer, is battling its worst desert locust plague in decades, using 12 drones to track the movement of locusts and spray them with insecticides.
(Original title: India deploys helicopters and drones to stop desert locusts from spreading)
India’s Civil Aviation Ministry has changed rules to allow state officials to use drones at night. Experts say the move could help control the spread of locusts.
Meanwhile, India has used specialist vehicles and fire engines for spraying in at least nine densely populated states in the north, central and western regions.
In addition, India’s minister of agriculture and farmers’ welfare said the government had ordered five new helicopter spraying systems from the UK to be installed on Indian Air Force helicopters.
India’s federal government also said it had provided financial assistance to the Rajasthan government to fight locusts. The locust swarm was first found in Rajasthan.
Last week, a large swarm of locusts entered Gurgaon, Pawar and Dewarka in the Capital Territory of Delhi, India, and are moving towards Uttar Pradesh. The authorities were immediately criticized for not taking prompt measures to curb the spread of locusts.