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National Emergency Declared in Pakistan over desert locusts

Posted on : 05 Feb 2020

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  • Pakistan's government declared a national emergency in response to swarms of desert locusts in the eastern part of the country.
  • The desert locusts — large herbivores that resemble grasshoppers — arrived in Pakistan from Iran in June and have already ravaged cotton, wheat, maize and other crops.
  • Favorable weather conditions and a delayed government response have helped the locusts breed and attack crop areas.
  • Their potential for large-scale destruction is raising fears of food insecurity.
  • The billions of voracious insects darkening the skies of East Africa are desert locusts, a large herbivore that resembles a grasshopper.
  • About the length of a finger — on average 6-8 centimeters (2-3 inches) — one locust can consume its own weight in food each day, a massive threat to crops and pastures.
  • They often travel in dense, crackling swarms which can contain as many as 80 million locusts per square kilometer, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Swarms can vary from less than 1 square kilometer in size to several hundred square kilometers.
  • Desert locusts can live for up to five months, depending on the weather and local conditions. According to the FAO, eggs can hatch in about two weeks, with locusts maturing to adulthood in two to four months on average.
  • Locusts aren't picky eaters; as the 2017 BBC documentary Planet Earth made clear, the insects will "consume every edible thing that lies in their path."
  • In one day, the average swarm can destroy around 192 million kilograms of vegetation, according to National Geographic — the food supply for thousands of people.
  • The locusts have already destroyed hundreds of square kilometers of vegetation and may yet spread to Uganda and South Sudan, bringing further instability to one of the world's poorest regions.
  • Locusts are native to Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia, and they've been menacing farmers for millennia.

Article Related Questions

  1. With reference to desert locusts which are responsible for National Emergency Declared in Pakistan, consider the following statements regarding it
    1.They are large herbivores that resemble grasshoppers.
    2.Locusts are not picky eaters and so they consume every edible thing that lies in their path.
    3.Locusts are native to Africa only.
    Which of the following statement is/are correct?

  2. 1.1 and 2 only

    2.2 and 3 only

    3.1 and 3 only

    4.1, 2 and 3

    Right Ans : 1 and 2 only

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