Swarms of crop-eating locusts spreading in India may reach Sri Lanka as well: a warning from Dept. of Agriculture

Swarms of crop-eating locusts spreading in India may reach Sri Lanka as well: a warning from Dept. of Agriculture

Swarms of crop-eating locusts spreading in India may reach Sri Lanka as well: a warning from Dept. of Agriculture

Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi

28 May, 2020 | 9:18 am

COLOMBO (News 1st): There is a possibility that the swarms of crop-eating locusts spreading rapidly in several countries including India, may spread in Sri Lanka as well, warned the Department of Agriculture.

“Farmers in Sri Lanka should be vigilant of the risk of these locusts reaching Sri Lanka as they have spread in India and Pakistan,” told Dr. W.M.W. Weerakoon – Director General at the Department of Agriculture to News 1st on Thursday (May 28).

According to Indian media reports, the massive swarms of desert locusts are destroying crops across Western and Central India, as the Indian government said it has stepped up its response to the country’s worst locust attack in nearly three decades.

Commenting further on the imminent threat of the locust attack to Sri Lanka, Dr. Weerakoon said all relevant parties in the country have been made aware of the threat, adding the Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and several other government institutions are on high alert regarding the situation.

However, the swarms of locusts have not yet spread in the Southern regions of India, according to Dr. Weerakoon.

“This type of locusts spread according to the wind patterns, therefore, there is a possibility of the locusts spreading to Sri Lanka given the changes to the wind patterns,” said Dr. Weerakoon.

Earlier this month, Pakistan declared an emergency stating the locust numbers were the worst in more than two decades.

It was reported on BBC that China could deploy 100,000 ducks to neighbouring Pakistan to help tackle swarms of crop-eating locusts, according to reports.

An agricultural expert behind the scheme says a single duck can eat more than 200 locusts a day and can be more effective than pesticides.

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