2020 has already been a depressing year for India, with the COVID-19 crisis and the recent Cyclone Amphan destroying the morale of the country. However, as per the latest reports, the country is all set to face another disaster – Locusts. The most affected states are likely to be Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
The effect of locusts
Locusts are not anything new in the country. However, they are becoming frequent in recent years. Locusts can destroy standing crops and affect the livelihood of the farmers and others in the agricultural supply chain. Essentially, the locusts pose a threat to food security.
According to FAO, a one square kilometre swarm of locusts, with about 40 million locusts, can in a day eat as much food as 35,000 people, assuming that each individual consumes 2.3 kg of food per day.
The impending danger
While Gujarat and Rajasthan had faced the locust-attack earlier this year, in the latest swarm of locusts, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are also said to be in the danger line. Punjab has also been warned of the danger.
On May 20, swarms of locusts were detected in the Dausa district of Rajasthan. In five days, they had covered a distance of around 200km to reach Dausa from Ajmer. Now, they have entered UP. In UP, the districts of Agra, Aligarh, Mathura, Bulandshahr, Hathras, Etah, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etawah, Farrukhabad, Auraiya, Jalaun, Kanpur, Jhansi, Mahoba, Hamirpur and Lalitpur are said to be in danger.
In Rajasthan, 16 districts are affected, in UP 17 and Madhya Pradesh has reported one of the worst attacks in 27 years. In Madhya Pradesh locust swarms have wreaked havoc in at least 12 districts, destroying standing crops in the largest such attack in a decade. These locusts have reportedly bred and matured in Iran and Pakistan’s Balochistan area.
The respective administrations are already preparing measures to curb the attack by keeping fire brigades and tractors ready with the required chemicals.
Source: India Times