News: The worst locust swarm in 27 years entered India through Rajasthan on April 11. The migratory pests have invaded eastern Maharashtra, setting Mathura and Delhi on alert for an impending locust attack.
Here are five components of the story:
- The migratory locusts feast on plants and standing crops, and have ruined a large part of the crops in the affected villages in Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
- Joint director of agriculture department, Ravindra Bhosale, said that locusts do not travel in the night. The migratory pests travel during the day time and fly as per the wind direction. “Locusts are very dangerous to all types of vegetation. They feed on green leaves and known for devouring crops spread across on acres of land,” he added.
- The district administration of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh has gone into early preparation to fend off the locust attack by forming a task force to deal with the pests.
- In February this year, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations had warned about the “threat” of locusts in southern Iran and southwest Pakistan. The UN predicted this could jeopardize farmlands across southwest Asia, including western India.
- Pesticides and chemicals are being used to fend off the locust attacks and protect the crops, but farmers warn that this is in fact counterproductive. The chemicals are too expensive for farmers (who are already suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic), and they also end up harming the crops and aren’t very effective in fending off locusts.