Locust is an insect that belongs to the family of grasshoppers. These insects are considered harmless unless they meet a certain circumstance under which they become more abundant to change their behaviour.
India, Pakistan, and Iran are currently thinking over the locust swarm attack as a threat which is going to attack over their agriculture economies.
When these locusts meet suitable environmental conditions, they become gregarious and start breeding abundantly.
With their population becoming denser, they form swarms and keep moving across areas damaging the crops. These swarms attacking crops and thereby devastating the entire agricultural economy is what is commonly referred to as locust swarm attack.
How a locust swarm attack takes place?
In general the Locusts are divided into four types that create a plague – desert locust, migratory locust, Bombay locust, and tree locust. The swarms that have built up this year are of the desert locust. When the locusts get a suitable environment and absorb behavioural changes, they change colour and often grow larger.
They transform themselves from solitary animals into animals that increasingly start breeding, which results in millions of swarms. This majorly happens after a series of strong rain or amid damp environment conditions.
India Locust Attack 2020:
After Iran and Pakistan, the locust swarm has entered India and the forecasting officers have already warned the country against experiencing the worst locust situations in decades. This means that the country that is already dealing with a drastic economic and health crisis due to COVID-19 is on the verge of facing the worst agricultural crisis as well.
According to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, “Locust swarm from Pakistan has entered Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, threatening major damage to standing cotton crops and vegetables. Rajasthan is the most affected state. During the current year, the swarm of locusts has entered India earlier than their normal time of June and July. States are adopting various means for controlling the swarms.”\
How locust attack is going to affect the agriculture economy?
The Desert locust are a direct threat to the food security of a country. In favourable conditions, a locust swarm can cover an area from less than one square kilometre to several hundred square kilometres. As mentioned in a report published in The Hindu, a swarm of desert locust containing around 40 million locusts can consume (or destroy) food that would suffice the hunger need of 35,000 people, assuming that one person consumes around 2.3 kg of food every day.