FAISALABAD: As an alternative to steal drum beating to avoid the locust attack, the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) has developed a solar noise-repellent machine.

Dr Anjum Munir of the Energy System Engineering Department of the UAF developed the machine which was inaugurated by the vice chancellor, Dr Muhammad Ashraf, on Wednesday.

Dr Munir said the UAF had been adopting all chemical and mechanical ways to control the locust. He said the machine would compel the locusts to leave the field with the help of noise to be produced by the machine. He said that simple method of the development was used for the machine that could be replicated in the farming community easily. He said that now, we would test the different noises of the bell to identify the most effective one to keep locust away.

The machine can be developed with the cost of Rs10,000 to 12,000, he said, adding the cost of the machine can be reduced further if we develop it on massive scale. He said machine comprises 12 volt plate and a compatible motor of 5 to 6 ampere. An optimized bell is attached herewith.

He said that manual tracking system was fixed in it to enhance its performance with sun movement.

The VC said the university was making all-out efforts to address the issue of locusts which he termed ‘Covid 20’ for the agricultural sector and a potential threat.

He said the UAF had already developed a three-in-one spray machine tested by farmers of the locust-hit areas. The repellent is the second locust control machine developed by UAF engineers in six months.

Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2020