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Huge swarms of crop-eating locusts enter Maharashtra

The short-horned grasshoppers have now entered Maharashtra after ravaging Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Huge swarms of crop-eating locusts enter Maharashtra
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The short-horned grasshoppers have now entered Maharashtra after ravaging Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Swarm of locusts, which are known to have destroyed crops, have invaded the eastern part of Maharashtra over the past five days.

The agricultural department in order to safeguard the crops have begun to spray chemicals and other vegetation in order to save them from the pests. The Central Integrated Pest Management Centre have sprayed these chemicals near the Jalalkheda bypass where the insects were located. The Joint Director of the Agricultural Department Ravindra Bhosale said to the media that these locusts entered the state from the Amravati district. He further added that the necessary information had been passed on to villagers as well to help them deal with this crisis.

The crop-eating pests had first entered Rajasthan from Pakistan in the second week of April. They destroyed crops in 18 districts of Rajasthan and a dozen in Madhya Pradesh. This is said to be the worst locust outbreak seen in a quarter of a century and it is at the moment destroying West India as it endangers India’s food security. As per experts, several waves of locust attacks are expected from now until early July, due to spring breeding in southern Iran and southwest Pakistan. The United Nations warned earlier this month that armies of locusts swarming across continents pose a “severe risk” to India’s agriculture this year.

The researches had earlier stated that there is a connection between climate change and locust attacks. Locusts thrive in wet conditions, with attacks following cyclones and floods. As greenhouse gases continue to heat the ocean and the atmosphere, floods and cyclones are becoming more common, increasing the possibility of frequent locust attacks. The locust invasions this year come in the middle of a national lockdown which has been extended to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

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