In this pandemic, India is not fighting with the virus only; there are other factors also, like our neighbor country’s nuisance, the downfall of the economy, cyclones, and now the attack of locusts. An agricultural official said on Tuesday “The sworn of locusts have damaged orange crop and vegetable plantation in some areas of Nagpur and Wardha districts of Maharashtra”. According to the reports it is the first major locust attack in Maharashtra after 1993 in Dhule district. The swarm is reported to be at least 10 km long and 2 km wide which has covered a distance of around 120km between May 24 and 26, and it continues to spread.
In Maharashtra, locusts have invaded six talukas across three districts- Amravati, Wardha, and Nagpur in Vidharba. Ravindra Bhosle, divisional joint director agriculture, Nagpur district said that the invasion began from kotal on Monday morning. While major crop damage is not expected since we are close to monsoon and sowing in these areas begins by June 7, but orange orchids are threatened by the invasion. A 25% loss is being estimated for those owing these orchards”.
On one hand the state is fighting with an invisible enemy, which is the virus and on the other hand the hot weather is the main concern too. Thus, the invasion of locusts has accentuated the situation for the state. The government is trying to run the awareness drive in the affected areas to control the aftermath of the locust attack. The high officials are constantly in touch with local officers to get the chapter and verse of the issue. 1200 liters of water have been sprayed with insecticides. Mr. Bhosle added that “locusts are very dangerous to all types of vegetation.”
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Not just Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh are also affected by the break out of sworn. It has affected crops of all the states and has accentuated the situation for the farmers as in this pandemic, after the migrants, they are the ones who are suffering the most, and now the attack of locusts. Scientists believe that there is a connection between climate change and the locust attack. As locust thrives in wet conditions, greenhouse gases continue to heat the ocean and the atmosphere. Floods and cyclones are becoming more common and are becoming the reason for frequent locust attacks.
These locusts first entered Rajasthan from Pakistan in the second week of April and now they have come to Maharashtra after destroying crops in 18 districts of Rajasthan and a dozen in Madhya Pradesh. Our neighbor Pakistan has already declared the locust attack as a national emergency. Now, the major concern is how we are going to face this attack along with fighting the virus and tackling with our neighboring country, whose issue is again on the boil.