Locusts attack in IndiaDate: 21 January 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
Locust attacks emerging from the desert area in Pakistan have struck parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat, causing heavy damage to standing crop.
Locusts are a group of short-horned grasshoppers that multiply in numbers as they migrate long distances in destructive swarms.
Only four species of locusts are found in India: Desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria), Migratory locust (Locusta migratoria), Bombay Locust ( Nomadacris succincta) and Tree locust (Anacridium sp.). The desert locust is regarded as the most important in India as well as internationally.
The swarms feed on leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, bark and growing points, and also destroy plants by their sheer weight as they descend on them in large numbers.
India has a locust control and research scheme that is being implemented through the Locust Warning Organisation (LWO), established in 1939 and amalgamated in 1946 with the Directorate of Plant Protection Quarantine and Storage (PPQS) of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The LWO’s responsibility is monitoring and control of the locust situation in Scheduled Desert Areas, mainly in Rajasthan and Gujarat, and partly in Punjab and Haryana.
Although no locust plague cycles have been observed after 1962, during 1978 and 1993, largescale attacks were reported.
India is most at risk of a swarm invasion just before the onset of the monsoon. The swarms usually originate in the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa.