July 31, 2020

Protecting crop lands from locusts

Bayer supports locust control drive in India

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Bayer is conducting farmer awareness on locust control measures

Mumbai, July 31, 2020: India is facing its worst-ever invasion of desert locusts in three decades. States across Northern and Western India are at a high risk. If locust swarms are not contained on time, they can move rapidly into farm lands and devour standing food crops. The Government of India under the Directorate of Plant Protection Quarantine and Storage (DPPQ&S) is taking several measures to prevent the invasion and spread of locusts to minimize crop loss for smallholder farmers and safeguard food security.

Locust swarms can stretch across miles and are large and aggressive. Considering this, the government’s locust control drive includes the use of effective products & formulations, new vehicles, ULV (Ultra Low Volume) sprayers, drones and helicopters. Since chemical control measures are highly effective for locust management, Bayer CropScience Limited is supporting the government initiative by providing 5,500 litres of Deltamethrin for locust control activities in the states of Rajasthan and Punjab. These activities will help curb the spread of locusts to bordering districts in Northern Gujarat.

Deltamethrin 1.25 ULV is globally recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for locust control and was also approved in March 2020 by the Registration Committee for locust control in India. Deltamethrin is a space spray formulation used for the control of flying insect pests by thermal or ULV fogging. It has proven beneficial during emergency situations such as the current locust attacks.

India is one of the first countries to approve the use of drones for locust control. To trial drone-based spraying of its approved chemistries, Bayer is partnering independently with multiple drone technology providers for locust control activities in Rajasthan, one of the worst-affected states. These trials are also being conducted in collaboration with the State Agricultural Universities in Rajasthan to generate data on effective locust control.

“Unprecedented situations like the current locust attacks require timely and innovative solutions. Bayer is collaborating with the government, academia and industry stakeholders to provide integrated solutions for locust control. Working with other stakeholders, we will create standard procedures for drone-based locust control and oversee drone trials with effective formulations such as Deltamethrin,” said Dr. Arun Kumar, Head of Environmental Science, Bayer South Asia.

“Bayer is also creating farmer awareness on safe & effective ways to prepare for and tackle locust attacks in their farms and villages. We are committed to partner with state task forces for locust control and are discussing long-term solutions such as improved early-warning systems for locust attacks,” added Dr. Arun Kumar.

About Bayer
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2019, the Group employed around 104,000 people and had sales of € 43.5 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to € 2.9 billion and R&D expenses to € 5.3 billion. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.

Media Contact
Saswati Panigrahi
Communications, Bayer CropScience Limited
E-mail: saswati.panigrahi@bayer.com

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