Locusts move towards northern part of country


The swarms of locusts that entered Nepal via India have travelled towards the northern part of the country. According to the Plant Quarantine and Pesticides Management Centre, the locusts that divided into smaller groups are now travelling towards northern parts.

“Just two weeks back some groups of locusts had entered the country via Dang and Kapilvastu districts. We have now been informed that those groups reached Myagdi and Mustang along with other nearby districts and have now travelled to the border area of China,” said Sahadev Humagain, chief of the centre.

As per him, the concerned authorities in those areas have been asked to take measures to control the insects. Meanwhile, in recent days no new groups have entered the country and those groups that had entered earlier are now travelling from one place to another in smaller groups, Humagain informed.

“Thanks to the monsoon the locusts have not affected the crops in a large scale,” he added.

Based on the weather forecast, he said that no new groups of locusts can enter the country in the next one week. However, after that if the wind direction changes then there is still a chance of new groups entering the country.

Despite the arrival of locusts there has been no major loss reported so far which is a positive message, Humagain added.

Till date, the locusts have damaged crops over 1,100 hectares of land, especially in eight districts. As per the report compiled by the centre, locusts have damaged maize, vegetables, paddy and fruits farms in Dang, Palpa, Pyuthan, Makawanpur, Sindhuli, Kapilvastu, Rupandehi and Rolpa.

In order to control the locusts the local governments have also offered a scheme to the public providing certain amount of money in exchange of the pests.

On June 27, locusts were sighted in Bara and Parsa. Prior to that, locusts were seen in Nepal in 1962. Back then, the swarm had invaded crops in Kathmandu, Nuwakot, Dhading and a few other districts, inflicting much damage to crops.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 30, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.