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desert locust attack

As of October 2020, only Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Yemen harbour significant swarms of gregarious locusts, with the remainder of the population situated in isolated pockets in Kenya, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia. The desert locust is one of the 12 species of short-horned grasshoppers. India's massive locust attack 2019-20 saw about 403,488 hectares treated with pesticides, according to the farm ministry. Locust attacks are known to cause a considerable drop in agricultural output. About 2.25 Mha had been treated by February 2020. So far, the swarms haven’t caused much damage, since the rabi crop has already been harvested and farmers are yet to start kharif sowings. Since June 2019, the locust outbreak has been impacting eastern Pakistan. [23] By then, the plague was Kenya's worst locust outbreak in over seventy years, affecting approximately 70,000 hectares (172,973 acres) of land, and leading the country's agriculture minister to state that authorities were unprepared for an infestation of such scale. [5] Heavy rains over the preceding short rain season (October-December) created an environment conducive to locust breeding,[22] and over the next two months the swarms spread and matured, infesting 21 counties by the end of February and reaching Kenya's borders with Uganda and Tanzania. Copy URL. [30] Desert locusts are breeding in the regions of Galmudug (Mudug), Puntland and Somaliland. There is a global link to India’s current locust problem. [9] These changes result in the formation of large locust swarms that gregarize nearby locusts and breed profusely, allowing them to undergo rapid, exponential growth. [37] In November 2019, Karachi saw the first locust attack in the city since 1961. If left unchecked, the number of locusts could grow by 500 times by June 2020, when drier weather will help bring the outbreak under control. Heavy rains in southwest Iran exacerbated the situation. 1 million ha of land has been targeted for rapid locust surveillance and control in the eight East African countries. A single gregarious female locust can lay 60-80 eggs three times during its average life cycle of 90 days. The districts adversely affected by the large scale coordinated attacks by locusts include Sri Ganganagar, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Churu and Nagaur. As we know attack of locust swarm has been started in Sindh Province. [3], Somalia’s agriculture ministry called the outbreak a national emergency and major threat to the country’s fragile food security, saying the “uncommonly large” locust swarms are consuming huge amounts of crops. If their growth is coterminous with that of the kharif crop, we could well have a situation similar to what maize, sorghum and wheat farmers of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia experienced in March-April. [12][16][17], In January 2020, the outbreak was affecting Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, and Burundi. Spraying is being conducted around the city to stop the outbreak from spreading elsewhere. Whereas Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran. India has been able to bring swarms of desert locusts under control in two key oilseed producing states.[42][43]. Researchers are now inputting data on soil moisture and vegetation cover to help predict where eggs have been laid and are likely to hatch and thrive. 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An important thing to note is the current swarms are all of “immature locusts”. [30] In a country like South Sudan, where already 47% of the population is food insecure this crisis would cause devastating consequences. [34], They are now heading toward Uganda and fragile South Sudan, where almost half the country faces hunger as it emerges from civil war. [33], The Government of Djibouti estimates that the damage caused by the desert locust infestations on vegetation cover (crops and pastures) have already caused a loss of around US$5 million for the six regions of the country. India is facing the worst Desert locust attack in decades. However, the locusts have traveled far, wiping out crops in Pakistan and damaging farms in Yemen, a fragile country already hit hard by years of conflict. Control operations were then undertaken in the summer breeding areas along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border (May–February), Ethiopia (August onwards) and Yemen (July onwards). Swarm of locusts in a field in Damoh, Madhya Pradesh, on May 27. Also, the breeding will happen mainly in Rajasthan. The Union Agriculture Ministry’s Locust Warning Organisation then observed “low-density I & II instar gregarious/transient hoppers” at Jaisalmer and Suratgarh in Rajasthan and Fazilka in Punjab adjoining the Indo-Pakistan border. Some residents were surprised to find the locusts inside their living rooms. [4] By the end of 2019, there were swarms in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Oman, Iran, India, and Pakistan. In Western Rajasthan's Sri Ganganagar, Bikaner and Barmer districts, large groups of pink swarming locusts destroyed lush green fields laden with Rabi crops this year. Embed. A single swarm contains up to 40-80 million adults in one square km and these can travel up to 150 km in one day. The outbreak began late 2019 in Gujarat and Rajasthan. 500,000 hectares-huge crop fields have been destroyed in Rajasthan alone, mainly in … Kenya has trained more than 240 personnel from affected counties in monitoring of locust swarms. The control operations have been less successful in Yemen and Iran.[41]. desert and semi-arid regions. Post a Comment. Locusts as soon as once more raided the Rajasthan facet in Mandsaur. Also Read | Locust attack tracker: Where the hoppers are headed and how states are battling the plague. [52], As of April 2020 Ethiopia was using five planes and Kenya six planes for spraying and four planes for surveying. Kenya could be losing the fight against desert locust invasion after it … [30] Uganda has not had to deal with a locust infestation since the ’60s so there is concern about the ability for experts on the ground to be able to deal with it without external support, This week Uganda’s prime minister told agriculture authorities that “this is an emergency and all agencies must be on the alert,” the government-controlled New Vision newspaper reported. The 2019–20 locust infestation is a pest outbreak of desert locusts which is threatening the food supply across the regions of East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Indian subcontinent. “Desert locusts are known to attack farmers’ fields and can eat their crops in a single morning,” warned Cressman. Parts of western Rajasthan have destroyed crops spread over at least 350,000 hectares of land. Thankfully, there is enough lead time for the government to avert a crisis it cannot afford – on top on dealing with Covid-19 and an unprecedented economic contraction. Locust swarms have infested 23 countries as of April 2020. Desert locusts can have about 40 million to 80 million ... in Pakistan have damaged crops including wheat and cotton and the country declared a national emergency to combat the locust attack … These areas should get rains that will produce enough green vegetation to enable both egg laying and hopper development. Swarms of the locusts were reported to have entered Nepal in late June, with damage to crops in Parbat Mahashila. Failure means more hunger in a region already battered by conflict and climate shocks. [6], In April 2020, travel and shipping restrictions precipitated by the spread of COVID-19 began to hamper efforts to control the locusts, preventing the transport of pesticides, equipment, and personnel, and contributing to the global incidence of COVID-19 related food insecurity. From March to October 1915, swarms of locusts stripped areas in and around Palestine, Mount Lebanon and Syria of almost all vegetation. This infestation seriously compromised the already-depleted food supply of the region and sharpened the misery of all Jerusalemites. [8] The sight and smell of other locusts, as well as sensory stimulation from contact between locusts' hind legs, precipitates changes in the locusts' behaviour and morphology; the previously green, nocturnal and solitary creatures become larger, develop black-and-yellow colouring, and begin to seek out other locusts, a process known as gregarization. Desert locust infestations are expected to continue to threaten crop production and pastureland across Ethiopia and Somalia through at least March 2021, according to GEOGLAM Crop Monitor. East Africa is the epicenter of the locust crisis—with Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda among the affected countries. What made Centre change its approach from incentivising states to forcing down reforms? Sayed Mohammad Ali Hosseini droped comment on the desert locust attack. The U.N. has allocated $10 million for aerial spraying.[33]. Effects of locust attacks Crop damage: The desert locust attack has wiped out crops spread over 5,00,000 hectares in Rajasthan. Some 45 million sq km of land in 90 countries are potentially prone or under the threat of invasion by the desert locust, according to the FAO. The Kenyan government is on high alert and effective control measures have been put in place. Cyclones in May and October 2018 brought heavy rains that gave rise to favourable breeding conditions in the Empty Quarter of the southern Arabian Peninsula for at least nine months since June. [51], In the winter breeding areas, control operations started in December 2018 in Eritrea and, to a lesser extent, in Sudan. In Amhara, some farms have registered nearly 100 percent loss of teff, a staple crop in Ethiopia. - Issued 07 December 2019 - Somalia", "Horn of Africa: Locust Infestation - Oct 2019", "Africa's Worst Locust Plague in Decades Threatens Millions", "The locust plague: Fighting a crisis within a crisis", United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, "Desert Locust Bulletin - General situation during February 2020", "Spray planes combat the huge locust outbreak in East Africa", "Desert Locust Bulletin - General situation during March 2020", "Desert Locust Bulletin - General situation during April 2020", "Desert Locust Bulletin - General situation during May 2020", "Desert Locust Bulletin - General situation during June 2020", "Desert Locust Bulletin - General situation during September 2020", "AP Explains: How climate change feeds Africa locust invasion", "Desert Locust situation update 4 May 2020", "Food security fears as locusts destroy crops in Pakistan's worst plague since the 1990s", "As swarms of desert locust descend upon Karachi, ministry says species pose no risk to food supply", "Emergency declared in nine districts after Dera locust attack", "Pakistan declares national emergency over locust swarms", "Locusts' attack in western Rajasthan leaves farmers high and dry, ruin lakhs of hectares of crops", "How India saved itself from desert locust invasion on crops", "India combats locust attack amid Covid-19 pandemic", "Crops destroyed as India faces 'worst locust attack in 27 years, "Locusts damage crops in Chitwan, but spare Rupandehi", "Nuvem de gafanhotos destrói lavoura de milho na Argentina e pode chegar ao Brasil", "Desert Locust Crisis: Appeal for Rapid Response and Anticipatory Action in the Greater Horn of Africa (January–December 2020) - Ethiopia", "Scientists turn to tech to prevent second wave of locusts in east Africa", "The Desert Locust Crisis and the World Bank Group", "In pictures: Locust swarms in East Africa", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=2019–20_locust_infestation&oldid=997539832, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles in need of updating from November 2020, All Wikipedia articles in need of updating, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 1 January 2021, at 01:10. [24] This might have been as far as the locusts got were it not for the fact that during October 2018, East Africa experienced unusually widespread and intense autumn rains, which were capped in December by a rare late season cyclone Pawan that made landfall in Somalia. The danger would be when the swarms that have already or are about to come will start breeding. A desert locust is seen feeding on a plantation. Locusts aren’t dangerous as long as they are individual hoppers/moths or small isolated groups of insects, in what is called the “solitary phase”. [14] This shift has resulted in increased cyclone activity over the last decade in the Persian Gulf, previously home to very few cyclones, and is associated with flooding in countries along the western Indian Ocean, dry weather in the east, and bushfires in Australia.[15]. [38], On 29 January 2020, the provincial Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government declared emergency in nine southern districts of the province to control the spread of locusts. One reason for the swarms migrating eastwards – normally they are seen in India only after July post the monsoon’s arrival, while confining themselves mostly to the desert areas of West Rajasthan where they breed and exist as solitary insects or in isolated groups – has been their search for food. The current attack of locust swarms is connected with the rise in frequency of cyclones in the otherwise-placid Arabian Sea. It’s trending on social media, NEWS everywhere. Keith Cressman, senior locust forecasting officer with the Food and Agriculture Organization said, he thinks, "we can assume there will be more locust outbreaks and upsurges in the Horn of Africa.”[19][20] The situation was fueled by unusually heavy rains,[8] causing a big concern in the Horn of Africa, where more than 24 million people are food insecure and 12 million people are internally displaced. A proactive exercise of control, through aerial spraying of ultra-low volume of concentrated insecticides in all potential breeding sites, is required, along with continuous monitoring of the crops during the ensuing kharif season. Once they start breeding, the swarm movement will cease or slow. With no crops in fields now, they have ended up invading green spaces, including parks, in Jaipur and orange orchards near Nagpur. Updated: 27 May 2020, 02:38 PM IST Nitin Sreedhar. Locusts swarms can travel up to 130 km in a day and each locust can consume about two grams of fresh vegetation i.e. [24] In Eritrea, big swarms of immature adults that migrated from Ethiopia, were identified and controlled around Shieb, Gahtielay, Wengebo and Beareze of the Northern Red Sea Coast. The hopper bands (young locust populations moving together) have covered nearly 430 square kilometres and have consumed about 1.3 million metric tonnes of vegetation over a two-month period. Desert Locust Swarms Attack Indian Farmlands: All You Need To Know Even as India fights the COVID-19 pandemic, another another calamity is already knocking at its doors -- desert locusts. Explained: How can Punjab achieve crop diversification? The emergency was declared in Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Lakki Marwat, Bannu, Karak, Kohat, Hangu, North and South Waziristan districts. During the past few weeks, major locust attacks have been observed in several countries in western and southern Asia and in eastern Africa. A Desert Locust lives a total of about three to five months although this is extremely variable and depends mostly on weather and ecological conditions. He said emergence of new challenges like climate change, COVID 19, Pollution and locust.Locust insect need timely and collectively response. During this century, Desert Locust plagues occurred in 1926-1934, 1940-1948, 1949-1963, 1967-1969 and 1986-1989. East Africa is the epicenter of the locust crisis—with Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda among the affected countries. The swarms proceed to feed on the newly abundant vegetation, making use of improved swarm coordination, the result of larger brain sizes, as well as increased range, the result of increased metabolic activity, larger muscles, and longer wings, to travel up to 130 km a day in search of new vegetation and moist weather, often propelling themselves by the wind. But the Kenyan government says it needs 20 planes for spraying - and a continuous supply of the pesticide Fenitrothion. The desert locust attack has wiped out crops spread over 5,00,000 hectares in Rajasthan. What are locusts? The infestation "presents an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods in the Horn of Africa," according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). After June 2019 swarms invade the Indo-Pakistan border from Iran and up to three generations occur due to longer than normal monsoon, giving rise to large numbers of swarms. 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