With massive crop yields destroyed causing plague-like situations, India is currently under the threat of a locusts attack. The attack is suspected to be the worst one in the last 27 years, leaving the authorities alarmed to order immediate action.
Adding to the ongoing plight suffered by the nation, taking chances on crop destruction by the wrath of locusts is out of the question. Strategizing a way forward is a pressing need currently.
To What Degree Can Locust Army Impact Vegetation?
Locusts are swarm of insects that usually arrive unsuspectedly, with the change in wind or weather. They eat plant material, which is why they strip large parts of vegetation including crops. Their sheer weight can also destroy crops, and therefore, outbursts of locusts are highly damaging.
Locust Plague in India 2020
After affecting Iran and Pakistan, warnings have been issued to India as well. The attack on agriculture in the wake of already ongoing economic and health crises can lead to other adverse agricultural conditions.
“Locust swarm from Pakistan has made its way to Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh, threatening standing cotton crops and vegetables. Rajasthan is the most affected state. During the current year, the swarm of locusts has entered India earlier than their normal time of June and July. States are adopting various means for controlling the swarms,” said Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
While Uttar Pradesh is already on high alert, locusts could also enter the “Red Zone” of Delhi, which has put the state on high alert. After impacting Rajasthan, a swarm of desert locusts could head towards the national region if the wind speed favors, stated experts dealing with the matter.
About 22% of Delhi comes under the green cover, and that can prove to be an eating ground for the insects. If the locust situation in the country turns out to be unfavorable, the devastation could lead one square kilometer locust swarm to eat the same amount of food in a day as about 35,000 people.
Indian Government In Unison With Other Regions To Fight The Situation
While the local areas have been put on alert, and officials asked to be equipped with chemicals in tractor-mounted sprayers, power sprayers, and fire brigade; India has also alarmed other states and regions as well.
The government warned Sudan and West Africa about the swarms of locust migrating to these regions.
India is also helping Iran and Pakistan curb the locust threat, but where Iran seems to be pleased to accept India’s supply of ‘malathion’ and aid in other pest control operations, Pakistan seems reluctant.
Also, 89 fire brigades for pesticide spray; 120 survey vehicles; 47 control vehicles with spray equipment, and 810 tractors mounted sprayers have been set in place for locust control, all while the government plans to obtain 60 additional sprayers from the UK.
Although the prediction shows the locust army affecting different region are likely to expand in the coming months, due to monsoon bringing egg-laying season; Indian authorities are not worrisome, rather prepared for combatting the impending crisis.