Nepal | August 10, 2020

Nepal at high risk of yet another locust invasion, five large swarms expected to fly in

The maturing locusts that should have migrated toward the desert of Rajasthan toward the west during the favorable weather are now likely to move toward the east-north

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KATHMANDU: Nepal could possibly be swarmed by locusts yet again as a large swarm is seen moving northward from Rajasthan of India, warned Plant Quarantine and Pesticide Management Centre.

Five swarms of locusts are currently spaced out at 400 hectors of the area around Sikar of Rajasthan of India, informed the centre, which operates under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development.

According to the locust analytics by Plant Village at Penn State in collaboration with United Nations FAO, the PQPMC predicted that the locusts are likely to move toward the Sahajapur and Sitapur areas via Churu along with the flow of the wind.

The maturing locusts that should have migrated toward the desert of Rajasthan toward the west during favorable weather are now likely to move toward the north-east. Although the locusts are unable to move at nights and during the rain, there is still the risk of them entering Nepal with the wind in next few days, the centre stated.

Locust swarms trajectory prediction. Courtesy: Plant Quarantine and Pesticide Management Centre

With the increased influence of southwest wind in Rajasthan, the swarms of locusts are likely to move towards Hariyana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhatisgarh, and some are likely to enter Nepal in coming couple days, informed the centre.

Following the possibility of another locust invasion, the centre has urged all stakeholders to stay on high alert and make early preparations to deal with the swarm.

The PQPMC has also informed that it is collaborating with the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology to monitor and predict the trajectory of the swarm in India.

Last month, around 24 smaller groups of locusts and more than three million locusts entered the country from India and fanned out to more than 30 districts.

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.

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