Disaster Diaries: Relief from Locust Attacks

The year 2020 is full of hurdles to humanity’s existence. It begins with forest fire, corona pandemic and now its cyclone Amphan and Nisarga.

Team Law Community
June 18, 2020

The year 2020 is full of hurdles to humanity’s existence. It begins with forest fire, corona pandemic and now its cyclone Amphan and Nisarga.

Another one of the problems is locust attack. It is faced by states of India which share borders with Pakistan. Usually locust attack came during September- October. But this is 20-20, It seems everything has gone into spiral, and so is locust attack. Well the reasoning behind this is rationale as per scientists. According to them, this year due to lockdown, locusts got a good breeding environment. This is the reason why they are before season and also large in number.

We can assume that how severe this time locust attack is. We have never seen that much of TV news about locust attack. At least not in last 30 years.


Locusts mainly move in search of food. Their movement is largely affected by westerly winds. They usually flow along with the winds. This year, such formations in large numbers are also influenced by cyclone Amphan. 

Also, when they arrived Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh many crops were already at the cultivation stage. After their food requirement not being adequately met, they move to cities like Jaipur and other states.    


In India mainly 6 states were most affected by it. They are Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. However we are not affected alone. 

In Pakistan also, in February, there was National emergency declared due to locust attack. Many other East African countries like Yemen was also affected.

Precautions taken-

  1. The Locust Warning Organization (LWO) guided state government and farmers to use pesticides. The sprinkling is done via drone and sprayers mounted on vehicles. 
  2. Farmers are also using their own methods like DJ, rackets and drums. 
  3. But India doesn’t have Ultra Light Vehicle (ULV), which is very effective against locust. Only one company manufactures it, which is in UP. Due to lockdown its manufacturing is stopped.

Even with such precautions our farmers face a large loss. It is estimated that crops of wheat, cumin, mustard and gram were affected most.


The relief from locust is mainly given under National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) or State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). And also, in scheme Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY).


The SDRF is constructed under section 48 (1) and NDRF under section 46 of Disaster Management Act, 2005.

In this funds were given to the victims of the disaster mentioned under SDRF. The disasters mentioned in it are- Cyclone, Earthquake, Tsunami, pest attack etc.

So, the Locust attack comes under pest attack of NDRF. Hence relief is granted.

Till now Rs.111.70 crore relief funds was given to State of Rajasthan, Manipur & Meghalaya.


There is a clause in PMFBY scheme for adversity of ‘mid season’. This clause gave insurance to the crop which is in between sowing and harvesting. In this-

  • Relief available If 50 percent of assumed yield is destroyed
  • Quantum of loss will be decided by the joint survey of insurance company and state government.
  • After this 25 percent of claimed amount will be payable.

Till now 4 district of Rajasthan have claimed insurance. But the farmers of Jisalmer-Barnir belt are not able to receive benefits of such insurance, because they don’t take loan. Other farmers like them will also suffer.


A question that comes in mind is- if one get relief from NDRF, are they entitled from other also? The answer is it is up to the decision of Central government. 

But this is not an end. The Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), UN issued alert that ‘more locust attack will be in the end of June and July’. Also, since they are desert locust, they will return to Rajasthan when monsoon wind arrives. 

So, what government and authorities can do is, take precautionary measures now. When another wave of locust attack arrives, we should be ready with proper equipments. Also, there should be proper relief guidelines. We have to act on time because as it is said – “Failure to act is failure towards Humanity”.

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