Swarming locusts damage crops in Pakistan

The desert locusts invading Pakistan's Punjab Province have damaged crops and brought economic losses to local farmers.

In a village of Punjab's Okara district, a large area of farmland has been destroyed by swarming locusts. Potato plants have only stems left.

Ali Adna and his family members have been trying to chase locusts away by knocking on basins and making noise. Adna saw the measure from social media, which he said is effective but exhausting so he and his family members take turns on duty to do the job.

Every morning, Adna said, the locusts come at around 8 am and start to gnaw the crops until about 5 pm. 

The locust plague has disturbed agricultural activities in the district.

Another farmer, Waris Ali, said his family is very anxious because they'd just sowed the wheat two days ago and had to dig it out. The crops for feeding the cows have also been destroyed.

According to Pakistan's Agriculture Department, the desert locusts arriving in Okara have been reduced to about 12 percent of the original number after controlling measures in previous areas. However, their capacity for destruction remains alarming.

Local people in Okara said the area has seen more locusts this year than in the past. Though they have been dealing with the locusts by using pesticides, they hope to get more professional support.

For more:

India says locust swarms under control after ravaging crops

Locust plague: One of the worst agricultural disasters

UN calls for greater global effort in tackling locust invasion

(Cover photo via VCG)

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