Locust Attack: Indian states on alert, where’s what we know so far
While India is limping back to normalcy after corona lockdown, another looming threat is the locust attack.
This latest attack has been described as one of the worst locust attacks in recent history, locusts’ swarms are threatening to destroy standing crops in northern, central, and western states. Here is a list of how the attack is panning out.
– Millions of desert locusts have spread to the states of India – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Maharashtra in the past 24-hours.
– Locust attack was first reported from Rajasthan and Punjab on 30 April; soon, it spread to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana.
– More than 42,000 hectares of land have been affected by the attack.
– The Union Agriculture Ministry in these states started containment measures by spraying pesticides and monitoring large swathes of farmland in these states.
– The Ministry has set up a control room to monitor the situation and coordinating containment efforts with state agriculture ministers. – Drones are going to be used to spray insecticides.
– As per the government announcement, the pests have not affected winter crops (Rabi). Now the officials are working to protect summer (Kharif) plants.
– Pulses and vegetable crops have been affected in Rajasthan.
– Orange and vegetable crops have been destroyed in Nagpur (Maharashtra).
– Neighboring states have stepped up monitoring activities.
– Locusts belong to the grasshopper family and can travel very fast, covering 50-100 km a day.
– Under monsoon and cyclonic conditions, they can breed more quickly.
– According to the Faridabad-based Locust Warning Organization (LWO), these locusts have originated in Pakistan. Such movement of this insect has happened over the years. However, the latest swarm of the insect is worst in decades.
– It is reported that the number of locust swarm is likely to swell further in June.
– In the past, locusts attacks have been usually reported from North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.
– The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in a statement has warned that locust’s pests can destroy crops and pose a major threat to food security in the affected countries.
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