What are locusts? All you need you to know as India faces worst attack in 26 years
India is yet to recover from the coronavirus crisis but faces a new challenge in the form of locusts attack, spreading across Western India. Over the last few days, swarms of locusts have been sighted in urban areas of Rajasthan and similar incidents have been spotted in parts of Madhya Pradesh and Vidharbha region of Maharashtra.
India is yet to recover from the coronavirus crisis but faces a new challenge in the form of locusts attack, spreading across Western India. Over the last few days, swarms of locusts have been sighted in urban areas of Rajasthan and similar incidents have been spotted in parts of Madhya Pradesh and Vidharbha region of Maharashtra. This is the worst attack country is witnessing in about three decades and the government has stepped up its response.
Locust containment measures and sprinkling operations have been conducted in 303 locations spread over more than 47,000 hectares till Wednesday in 20 districts of Rajasthan, nine in Madhya Pradesh, two in Gujarat and one each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
What are desert locusts and why are they dangerous?
The desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) is a short-horned grasshopper. They are known to change their behaviour and form swarms of adults or bands of hoppers (wingless nymphs). The swarms that form can be dense and highly mobile. They feed on large variety of crops and if not controlled, can ned up threatening the food security of a country.
The locusts travel at 150 kms per day and even a small swarm can eat food that is enough for as many as 2,500 people in a single day.
There are 10 important species of locusts in the world: The Desert Locust, The Bombay Locust, The Migratory Locust, The Italian Locust, The Moroccan Locust, The Red Locust, The Brown Locust, The South American Locust, The Australian Locust, The Tree Locust.
Out of this, only four - Desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria), Migratory locust (Locusta migratoria) Bombay Locust (Nomadacris succincta) and Tree locust (Anacridium sp.) are reported in India.
What is the government doing?
The Department of Agriculture and Farmers` Welfare (DAC&FW) has stepped up locust control operations in the affected states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, said Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on Wednesday in a statement.
According to the Agriculture Ministry, around 200 Locust Circle Offices (LCO) are conducting survey and control operations in close coordination with the district administration and agriculture field machinery of the affected states. Locust control operations are in full swing in coordination with the state agriculture departments and local administration.
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