Locusts may not overwhelm, but India cant let guard down: FAO expert

‘Make noise and don’t panic’: India tries to ward off locust invasion

The insects caused massive damage to seasonal crops in both states, devastating many farmers already struggling with the impact of a strict coronavirus lockdown. Cotton crops in Khajuwala area were damaged due to locusts attack.

The innovative pilot project in Pakistan Okara district offering solutions to problems in which the farmers can earn money by trapping Locusts, which are turned into high protein chicken feed by animal feed mills.

"We fear that there would be a great threat of locust swarms in July this year".

Pakistan is been hit by the swarms in the winters and fresh swarms are expected to grow until mid-summer.Pakistan Government has approved the National Action Plan for Locust control and airborne spraying of some 300,000 liters of insecticide has been done.

Many know that desert locusts, also known as Schistocerca Gregaria, normally live and breed in desert regions.

He was delivering an online lecture on Sunday on "Locust Attack and Issues of Food Security", organised by the Sindh Social Scientists Forum and attended by other agriculture experts and representatives of the Sindh agriculture department and civil society activists.

There hasn't been much "systematic research" on desert locusts in the country since the early 1990s and the current swarm invasions are a wakeup call to "restart and revive the programme", said Trilochan Mohapatra, director-general of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

Reportedly, herds of locusts have now entered Maharashtra too.

Locust swarms are comprised of a species of short-horned grasshoppers that are usually solitary and harmless, but if their population becomes too large and they are overcrowded, their behaviour changes.

Since the past one week, hungry locusts have been attacking crops and fields in parts of North India, mainly Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

Hindustan Pesticides Limited is producing 20 thousand litres of pesticide "We are in the process of supply 20 thousand litres of malathion pesticide to run for these desert locust operations", said Srivastava.

Parts of India are experiencing the worst locust invasion the country has seen for 25 years. He has worked on the locust issue in Sudan and other South African countries. It is estimated that a single swarm can contain 40 to 80 million adults in one square km, and these can travel up to 150 km a day.

Locust control has involved spraying of organo-phospate pesticides on the night resting places of the locusts.

Last year, the above normal rainfall and temperature there were ideal for locust breeding and multiplication, which is a natural phenomenon.

The United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned that the crop-destroying insects could also reach Bihar and Odisha in the east in the coming weeks.



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