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Swarms of locusts invade crops in Pakpattan

PAKPATTAN: After wreaking havoc on crops in parts of Sindh and Cholistan in Punjab, swarms of locusts have now invaded large swathes of suburban areas of Pakpattan district, ARY News reported.

Locusts have attacked standing crops, including wheat and vegetables, on thousands of acres in Kalyana, Hota and adjoining areas of the district, inflicting huge losses on farmers.

Talking to ARY News, Kissan Ittehad Punjab president Rizwan Iqbal lamented farmers put in a year of efforts to produce crops, which have now completely been destroyed by the swarms of locusts.

Crops across the province are being invaded by locusts but the provincial authorities have failed to take concrete measures to eliminate locusts, he said, adding that the country could face dought-like situation if the government doesn’t take steps to get rid of locusts.

Last week, the swarms of crop-eating grasshoppers had landed in Sahiwal and surrounding areas. The locusts attacked standing crops of wheat, mustard and potatoes on hundreds of acres farmlands in Kumair, Harappa, Bangla, Cheechawatani and other areas of the region.

The crop eating insects bring hunger with them by thoroughly eating crops and all vegetation they find at any place.

In June this year, swarms of locusts attacked cotton fields in Khairpur, Sukkur, and Ghotki districts in Sindh. Farmers had to bear hundreds of thousands of rupees losses due to crop loss in the attack.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in first week of September had warned that the situation relating to locusts in Pakistan was “most serious” as a second generation of the insect had been bred.

According to the FAO’s Locust Watch report, there remains a risk of further breeding, causing locust numbers to increase, with the possibility of swarm formation from late September onward.

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