NEW DELHI: Huge swarms of desert locusts are destroying crops across western and central India, prompting authorities on Tuesday (May 26) to step up their response to the country's worst plague in nearly three decades.
Drones, tractors and cars have been sent out to track the voracious pests and spray them with pesticides. The locusts have already destroyed nearly 50,000 hectares of cropland.
"Eight to 10 swarms, each measuring around a square kilometre are active in parts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh," the government's Locust Warning Organisation's deputy director K.L. Gurjar told AFP.
The insects caused massive damage to seasonal crops in both states, devastating many farmers already struggling with the impact of a strict coronavirus lockdown.
They destroyed harvests in the agricultural heartlands of neighbouring Pakistan in April, before entering Rajasthan.
Smaller swarms are also active in a handful of states across India, Gurjar said.
A swarm of 40 million locusts can eat as much food as 35,000 people – or six elephants – according to UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Residential areas in the state capital Jaipur were overwhelmed by the insects as bewildered locals banged on pots and pans to try and ward off the insects.
Experts warn the situation cRead More – Source