June 28 : In what can be termed as a troublesome development, the swarm of desert locusts have entered into five districts of the country.
According to the the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, such swarm were detected in Sindhuli, Bara, Parsa, Sarlahi and Rupandehi on Saturday (June 27).
As a result of the wind blowing from the south to the north for the last three days, the small group of the insects reached here in the country, it is reported. This happened despite the predictions made earlier by the government that such invasion into the country was unlikely due to its geographic and climatic situation.
The locusts, popularly known as ‘Salaha’ in Nepal, are short- horned grasshoppers that eat leaves voraciously, thus damaging large volumes of crops in a short time period.
As the most dangerous migratory pest species in the world, they threaten the people’s livelihoods, food security, the environment and economic development. As such, the latest invasion of the grasshoppers in the country could also especially jeopardize its food security.
It may be noted that the problem of food insecurity has already been compounded by the COVID-19-induced lockdown, which has disrupted production and supply chains.
he desert locust has the ability to change its behavior and appearance, under particular environmental conditions (unusually heavy rains), and transform itself from a harmless individual to part of a collective mass of insects that form a swarm, which can cross continents and seas, and quickly destroy a farmer’s field and his entire livelihood in a single morning.