Webinar on locust mgmt held

RONO HILLS, Jun 1: The zoology department of Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU), in collaboration with the university’s Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) cell organized a webinar themed ‘Locust outburst and its management strategies’, here on Monday.
Aimed at understanding and sharing information on the recent swarming of locusts in the country, the programme saw the participation of faculty members, nodal officers from the UBA cells of various colleges and institutes, NSS programme officers, NSS volunteers, and research scholars.
RGU Vice Chancellor, Prof Saket Kushwaha, who inaugurated the webinar, said the locust outburst “is going to be a major challenge, especially in Covid pandemic times when the Indian economy is already affected in many ways.”
The swarms of locusts spreading across miles have the potential to ravage agricultural fields and devour crops, thereby creating a famine-like situation, he said.
Positing that “locust outbursts may also be created artificially to destabilize the economy across the globe,” Prof Kushwaha advocated effective management to overcome the challenge posed by the locust outburst.
UP-based University of Agriculture and Technology’s Director (Extension), Dr NK Bajpai spoke about locusts, the factors influencing their swarming, breeding grounds, migration pathway, and chemical control.
Tezpur (Assam)-based Defence Research Laboratory’s Director, Dr SK Dwivedi spoke on “bio-weapons and their consequences on agricultural economy,” while Prof Dipshikha Bora from the life sciences department of Dibrugarh University made a presentation on “the role of pheromones and receptors on outbreak of locust population.”
Delhi-based IARI’s principal scientist, Dr Sachin Suresh spoke about the current research trend on locusts in India, and Pasighat (East Siang)-based College of Horticulture & Forestry’s Dean, Dr BN Hazarika spoke on management strategies against locusts.