Report any locust infestation – Agri Dept | Daily News


 

Report any locust infestation – Agri Dept

The Department of Agriculture has stated that the locusts which were recently found in Mawathagama area were not a type of desert-locust. Concerns were raised recently in mainstream and social media regarding a type of a locust spreading in Kurunegala and several other regions in the country which had similar characteristics to desert locusts.

According to the Agriculture Department, the spread of these locusts has been reported from Kurunegala, Gampaha and Kegalle districts. Alarms were raised by farming communities as India is presently undergoing a desert-locusts threat which has adversely affected their agricultural lands.  

The Agriculture Department, while stating that this is not a similar kind of desert locust spread, pointed out that special attention should be given to these locusts nevertheless.

Accordingly, a team of researchers including Director General of Agriculture Dr. W.M.W. Weerakoon, Professor Buddhi Marambe of the Department of Agriculture of Peradeniya University and Entomologist Dr. Lionel Nugaliyadda have conducted a field inspection concerning the matter.

Even though locust threat is not uncommon in Sri Lanka, the Agriculture Department pointed out that climate change has caused an extraordinary growth of locusts in the country.

The Agro-Technical Information Bulletin issued by the Agriculture Department has observed that it is important to pay close attention to the possibility that desert locusts in India may end up in Sri Lanka as they can reach the country caught in wind currents during the southwest monsoon winds. Since the country is relying on local agricultural production during the COVID-19 pandemic, all responsible parties should be extra-cautious concerning the locust threat, the Agriculture Department emphasized.

The Agriculture Department and the Disaster Management Center requests the public to inform of any such locust hazard in any region in the country via hotlines 1920 and 117.


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