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As per the directions of the Union Minister of Agriculture, Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation < Farmers Welfare, Shri Sanjay Agarwal chaired a high-level meeting here today on Desert Locust Control. Senior Officers from the State Governments of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana, officers from Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home, National Disaster Management Authority and CMD of HIL (India) Limited, Special Secretary, DAC<FW, Agriculture Commissioner and other officers of DAC<FW participated in the meeting.

During the presentation, the locust control operations done from May 2019 to February 2020, challenges faced and its achievements were discussed. Losses caused by locust attack in Rajasthan and Gujarat and status of support under SDRF/NDRF was discussed. It was informed that Inter-Ministerial teams had visited both Rajasthan < Gujarat to assess the crop loss so that additional funds, if required may be issued from NDRF as per norms.

Control Operations were reviewed and Secretary DAC<FW advised to strengthen joint coordinated efforts with Locust Warning Organization, State Agriculture Department, BSF and Farmers. Agriculture Secretary assured that all required assistance will be provided to State Governments for locust control.

For next year, it is proposed to strengthen the control capabilities, logistics (pesticide, vehicle, tractors etc.) both in States and Central level and Capacity building programmes will be conducted.