Locust Warning Organisation (LWO), Directorate of Plant Protection Quarantine and Storage, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare is responsible for monitoring, survey and control of Desert Locust in Scheduled Desert Areas mainly in the States of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Incursion of exotic locust swarms into India is prevented through organization of suitable control operation. LWO keeps itself abreast with the prevailing locust situation at National and International level through monthly Desert Locust Bulletins of FAO issued by the Desert Locust Information Service (DLIS), AGP Division Rome, Italy. Survey data are collected by the field functionaries from the fields which are transmitted to LWO circle offices, field HQ Jodhpur and Central HQ Faridabad where these are compiled and analyzed to forewarn the probability of locust outbreak and upsurges. The locust situation is appraised to the State Governments of Rajasthan and Gujarat with the advice to gear up their field functionaries to keep a constant vigil on locust situation in their areas and intimate the same to nearest LWO offices for taking necessary action at their end.
Lot of innovations have been made in the field of locust survey and surveillance for quick transmission of locust survey data, their analysis, decision making, mapping of survey areas through computerization, adoption of new Gadget/Software like eLocust3/ eLocust3M /eLocust3G and RAMSES.
- To monitor, forewarn and control locust in Scheduled Desert Area (SDA) being International obligation and commitment.
- To conduct research on locust and grasshoppers.
- Liaison and coordination with National and International Organizations.
- Human resource development through training and demonstration for staff of Locust Warning Organization (LWO), State officials, BSF personnel and Farmers.
- To maintain control potential to combat locust emergency by organizing locust control campaign.
However, the main objective of Locust Warning Organisation (LWO) is protection of standing crops and other green vegetation from the ravages of Desert locust which is one of the most dangerous pests occurring in desert areas throughout the world.
- Keep constant vigil through field survey to prevent crop losses due to locust attack in approximately 2 lakh sq. kms. Scheduled Desert Area in the States of Rajasthan and Gujarat
- Prevent development of locust population in SDA and entry of locust swarms into India through prompt control operations.
- Hold Indo-Pak Border meetings for exchange of locust situation information between two Countries to effectively monitor the situation and ensure preparedness to tackle the emerging locust threat, if any.
- Organize training for the benefit of farmers, officers and officials of the State Agriculture departments and other stake holders by making them aware about the locust activities, their biology and extent of damage caused to the crops and other vegetation and latest control techniques of desert locust.
- Advise state functionaries, BSF personnel, Panchayat Raj Institutions to inform the nearest LWO office if any locust activity was reported in their areas for needful action.
- Issuance of Desert Locust Situation Bulletin at fortnightly intervals to inform all concerned stakeholders about emerging locust situation in India.
- During lean period of locust season from December to March LWO has also assigned Integrated Pest Management Activities by organizing Farmers Field Schools (FFS) for Rabi Crops viz. Cumin, Castor, and Gram & Mustard in Rajasthan & Gujarat States.
- Organize International Meeting of FAO Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in South-west Asia (SWAC) and Desert Locust Control Committee (DLCC).
- Conduct research at Field Station on Investigation on Locusts(FSIL) at Bikaner on bio-efficacy of pesticides and bio-pesticides for locust control.