June 10, 2023

Locust attacks have continued in the border areas of Rajasthan along the India-Pakistan border for the last nearly five months. So far, about 80 locust teams have entered India and have caused huge damage to crops on millions of hectares of land in many states of the country. Recently, 8 locust teams entered India together for the first time from Pakistan, out of which seven teams were small but one party was three kilometers long and so wide. Along with Rajasthan, grasshopper teams are once again wreaking havoc on crops in many other states like Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh etc. In Punjab, the state government has also issued an alert in the districts of Bathinda, Sangrur, Mansa, Fazilka, Barnala etc. along the borders of Haryana and Rajasthan to overcome the potential attack of grasshoppers and to prevent the crops from getting spoiled. Haryana and Uttar Pradesh Also, attacks of grasshopper parties are taking place in various areas repeatedly and they are writing the story of farmers wastage in many states of the country.

Food insecurity in any country by locust parties destroying crops on a large scaleThe possibility of this may increase. In fact, when a party of millions of locusts moves forward, they move ahead by licking all kinds of plants and crops that come in their way. According to agricultural scientists, this insect of size 6-8 centimeters can eat food equal to its weight every day and when it is in the group it eats the entire crop standing in the fields. A swarm of locusts moving together can span from one square kilometer to several thousand square kilometers. Based on their weight, they can eat green fodder at a speed of eight times faster than common animals. According to the LWO, ten species of locusts are active worldwide, of which four species have been observed in desert locusts, migratory, Bombay and tree locusts in India. The desert locust is considered the most dangerous of these.

It is a matter of concern that a large number of locusts are laying eggs in the southern part of Pakistan’s Sindh province bordering Barmer district. Summer breeding of locusts has also started in India. Recently in Rajasthan, grasshopper eggs have also been found under sandy ground and experts say that hoppers have come out of these eggs a few days ago. Desert locusts are now breeding during the monsoon by laying eggs in the transitional face. Locusts in Rajasthan are laying eggs in Jaisalmer, Barmer, Sriganganagar, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Churu, Nagaur, Jhunjhunu etc. Scientists say that pink locusts coming from Pakistan are mating with yellow locusts already present in India, leading to rapid breeding. According to experts, this year Pakistan has completely failed to control locusts in its territory, Due to which the hoppers of locusts have become adult and have come to Indian territory from the border of Rajasthan. Of the United NationsAccording to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the increased population of locusts after summer breeding can become a major threat. Not only the farmers, but also the government and scientists are greatly disturbed by these attacks of locusts happening on crops after a short interval.

The locust group is usually in a very large group, which lick the green leaves, stem and fruits in the plant. It completely destroys the green tree on which it sits. Whichever field the locust party attacks, the entire crop is destroyed. Currently, many teams across the country are trying to control locust parties. Efforts are on to destroy locusts by spraying pesticides through aircraft, drones and other special equipment by the central government. In the month of February this year, grasshopper parties from Pakistan, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, In many states like Gujarat, crops were severely damaged. Last year, locust teams in a dozen districts in Rajasthan wiped out crops in more than seven lakh hectares in nine months. The locust crew travels at a speed of ten kilometers per hour and has the ability to fly up to 150 kilometers a day. A small herd of locusts also feeds about 35,000 people a day and can chop crops equivalent to eating ten elephants or twenty-five camels.

If we talk about loss from locust parties, then in India between 1926 to 1931, due to locusts there was a loss of about ten crores in the then currency and between 1940 to 1946 rupees two crores. In view of that loss, the Locust Warning Organization (LWO), or grasshopper warning organization, was established in 1946. LWO is working under the Directorate of Vegetation Conservation, Quarantine and Collections of the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. Twenty million attacks from locust parties in India during 1949-55, Losses of fifty lakhs were estimated during 1959-62 and about 75 lakhs in 1993. Right now, the losses in such attacks reach crores and billions of rupees. In 2017, the government of Bolivia had to declare an emergency due to locust attack in a large agricultural area. Many other countries have also been facing a crisis regarding food security following the attacks of locust parties.

Although the farmers have been chasing the locusts by leaving firecrackers, making a plate or making noise in other ways as the locusts leave their place after hearing the loud sound, but the locust crew would pass through any area and move ahead by chopping the entire crop there. is. However, agricultural experts say that apart from these measures, farmers should also use some pesticide chemicals to avoid damage from locust groups.