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Locust Invasion on India, Pakistan and Iran

FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL ORGANIZATION
In 1945, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was created In Quebec City, Canada, by the first session of the newly created United Nations.

FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.

Headquarters: Rome, Italy

LOCUST

A locust is a large, mainly tropical grasshopper with strong powers of flight.

They differ from ordinary grasshoppers in their ability to change behavior (gregarize) and form swarms that can migrate over large distances.

Locusts are generally seen during the months of June and July as the insects are active from summer to the rainy season.

Locusts have a high capacity to multiply, form groups, migrate over relatively large distances (they can fly up to 150 km per day) and, if good rains fall and ecological conditions become favorable, rapidly reproduce and increase some 20-fold in three months.

Threat to Vegetation: Locust adults can eat their own weight every day, i.e. about two grams of fresh vegetation per day.

A very small swarm eats as much in one day as about 35,000 people, posing a devastating threat to crops and food
security.

If infestations are not detected and controlled, devastating plagues can develop that often take several years and
hundreds of millions of dollars to bring under control with severe consequences on food security and livelihoods.

LOCUSTS IN INDIA

Four species viz. Desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria), Migratory locust (Locusta migratoria), Bombay Locust ( Nomadacris succincta) and Tree locust (Anacridium sp.) are found in India.

INDO-PAK COOPERATION ON THIS ISSUE IN 2019

In 2019 there was a locust attack on India and Pakistan as well. Although, that attack was of a much less intense magnitude.

Back then India and Pakistan worked closely with each-other and shared data regarding the issue to protect the farmers on both sides

HOW TO STOP THEM

CLIMATE CHANGE

Locust swarms are known to retreat by November every year but a delayed retreat of the seasonal rainfall in India has created favorable breeding conditions for locusts in the Thar desert.

In June 2019, the Indian side of the Thar desert had received unexpected rainfall.

Sharma blamed climate change for turning deserts into watery landscapes.

He also said that lizards, which usually prey on locusts, are now not found abundantly in desert areas.

Farmers usually spray large amounts of pesticides to protect crops but this has not only harmed harvests but also failed to keep locusts at bay.

BACK TO BACK CYCLONES IN GULF

Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen after it was hit by Cyclone Mekunu in May 2018.

This created favorable breeding conditions for desert locusts.

In October that year, the Arabian Peninsula was hit by Cyclone Luban, which created more favorable conditions for locusts to breed

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