Explained: What is the locust attack destroying crops in several countries?

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News: Pakistan and Somalia have declared locust emergencies.

Facts:

About Locust

  • Locusts are a group of short-horned grasshoppers. They multiply in numbers as they migrate long distances in destructive swarms.
  •  Four species of locusts are found in India: Desert locust, Migratory locust, and Bombay Locust and Tree locust.
  • Desert locust is regarded as the most destructive pest in India

Locust Hotspots

  • The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has currently identified three hotspots of threatening locust activity: Horn of Africa, the Red Sea area, and southwest Asia.
  • The Horn of Africa has been called the worst-affected area

Control measures taken by India:

Locust Control and Research scheme:

  • It is implemented through the Locust Warning Organisation (LWO) which was established in 1939.
  • LWO was amalgamated in 1946 with the Directorate of Plant Protection Quarantine and Storage (PPQS) of the Ministry of Agriculture.
  • Objective: protection of standing crops and other green vegetation from Desert locust