Monday, November 29, 2021

Swarms of locusts eat up hundreds of acres crops in Sukkur region

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SUKKUR: Swarms of locusts have destroyed crops on hundreds of acres in Saleh Pat area of Sukkur quoting local farmers, ARY News reported on Monday.

Several swarms of locusts descended in the area and eat up standing cotton crop, vegetables and fodder for cattle in the area, local people complained.

Local farmers staged protest against inaction of the provincial agriculture department with regard to the attacks of locusts swarms in the area.

The farmers are trying to get rid of the vegetation eating grasshoppers on self help basis after the agriculture department’s inaction over the matter.

“We worked hard for six months, spent thousands of rupees but the crops were destroyed (by the swarms of locusts)”, a farmer lamented.

The government by conducting spray of insecticides could save us from further harm, local farmers said.

Earlier in this month, locusts, a specie of grasshoppers, reportedly eat up crops, grass and shrubs in some villages of Nagarparkar and Islamkot talukas of Thar region.

Local villagers said the government officials had sprayed insecticides a few days ago, but the spray proved ineffective due to continuous rain in the areas.

They demanded of the highups to send teams with required machinery for killing insects.

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

The crops were affected in Khairpur’s Naaro, Chondko, Thari Meerwah, Sukkur’s Saleh Pat, Thikrato, Mubarakpur and Ghotki’s Khanpur Mahar, and Khangarh.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in first week of September 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.

Yemen and India are also facing a similar situation, and the situation could deteriorate in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Breeding will continue in Cholistan and Tharparkar deserts with another generation of hatching and the formation of hopper groups and perhaps a few small swarms forming by late September, the report said.

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