Indian heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh are reportedly under the threat of desert locust attack, as millions of vermins threaten crops in India.
Uttar Pradesh is the largest agriculture hub of the country, with Madhya Pradesh in the list of the top agrarian states in India.
Earlier this year, Pakistan declared a national emergency over the same crisis, with tonnes of crops under the threat by swarms of desert locusts in the Punjab province.
(Tweet by Hindusthan Times’ Cheif of Bureau shows the insects flocking in between buildings in Jaipur.)
The latest updates in India reports Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan has started to witness locust swarms today morning.
The swarms reportedly entered western Rajasthan in April and are moving towards the eastern and southern parts of the state in search of food.
The state agriculture department says the hot Westerly winds attract these insects which come in search of foods.
Millions of them breed in Iran and Pakistan’s Balochistan region and their swarm sizes can vary from one to a few hundred-kilometer squares.
Madhya Pradesh has declared this year’s attack as one of the worst in 27 years. As many as 16 districts in Rajasthan and 17 in UP are affected by the crop-damaging invertebrates. UP has enacted a state-wide alert.
(Below Tweet by ANI shows swarms of locusts attacking a village in Chhatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh.)
“We have been spraying insecticides at night on trees where the insects settle at night,” state agriculture commissioner of Rajasthan, Dr. Om Prakash told The Times of India. Recent reports say the insects have moved to the Dausa area.
What is this locust attack?
Desert locusts, the one that destroys crops is one of the many species of short-horned locusts. These vermins are said to be one of the world’s most damaging pests that has a very high appetite for anything green.
The flock in swarms, kilometers -square big, while settling on any vegetation that comes on their way. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization, a single locust can eat two-grams of fresh vegetation a day, which is equivalent to its own weight.
(Below Tweet showing Uttar Pradesh under the attack.)
Swarms of Locusts enter Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh.— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) May 23, 2020
Environment Ministry yesterday said, Locust Swarm from Pakistan have entered Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh threatening major damage to crops.
Report:Vikas Kumar pic.twitter.com/OECWrfCjbL
The FAO states even a small part of an average swarm will gobble up greens equivalent to 10 elephants, 25 camels, or 25,000 people, in one day. That’s a huge appetite to fill nonetheless.
(Cover image courtesy of Veenu Mittal via Twitter)