Locust is short-horned grasshoppers in the swarming phase. These are crop-destroying migratory insects. Locusts found in India are desert locusts from grasshopper family and highly destructive more than other species of locusts. These Locust hit India resulting most severe attack in three decades.
The buzzing brown Locust swarms hit Indian food security and livelihood. The severe attack of Locust has been seen in the northern and central states. The attack started from Gujrat hitting Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh now it reached to Noida.
In India the first sighting of a small group of Locust was reported early on 11th April currently there are four swarms in Rajasthan, three in Madhya Pradesh, and a small group is reported in Maharashtra. The locust swarms have attacked about 40,000 hectors of land.
Reasons for the outbreak
According to the climatic scientist’s erratic weather linked to climate change has created the ideal conditions for insects to surge in number. When we saw the past data the last five years have been reported hottest in the record.
No crop is safe!
The current desert locust attack can damage each and every crop which will have a severe impact on Indian agriculture and livestock production as well. The swarms can completely destroy wheat, barley, vine, citrus, millet, sorghum, vegetables, etc.
“Farmers whose field invaded by locusts often lose 100% of their harvest”
Currently, rabi crops are harvested due to which locust swarms are not finding enough food to survive so they are moving to other areas.
- Locust can fly up to 150 km in a day.
- They eat their own weight daily
- One small swarm (1 km sq) can devour the same amount of food as 35,000 people could in a day
- No crop is safe
Battle against locusts
As of now, the government is using spraying machines, sprinkling operations have been conducted in 303 locations using 700 tractors, 75 fire engines to kill the locusts. According to the FAO, Swarms are less likely to reach south India, Nepal, and Bangladesh
The ongoing locust attack will lead to severe food security problems in those countries who are already fighting against hunger and livelihoods.
(The views expressed as personal)
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