A swarm of locusts of biblical proportions is threatening the food supply of 20 million people in East Africa
- Swarms of
locustsin East African countries are threatening the food supply of more than 20 million people.
- Now, experts are looking for creative solutions to deal with the pests — including eating them.
- Desert locusts are the most destructive migratory pest in the world, and a swarm can eat the same amount of food in a day as 35,000 people.
Swarms of locusts in East African countries are threatening the food supply of more than 20 million people at a time when food is already scarce because of the coronavirus pandemic.Now, experts are looking for creative solutions to deal with the pests — including eating them.
View all Offers
OnePlus Nord 2 5G (Gray Sierra, 8GB RAM, 128GB Storage) I Extra upto Rs.1000 off on Exchange₹ 29999Buy On
- 19% OFF
Redmi Note 10 (Aqua Green, 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage) -Amoled Dot Display | 48MP Sony Sensor IMX582 | Snapdragon 678 Processor₹ 12999₹ 15999Buy On
- 18% OFF
Redmi 9 (Carbon Black, 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage) | 2.3GHz Mediatek Helio G35 Octa core Processor₹ 8999₹ 10999Buy On
- 18% OFF
Redmi 9A (Nature Green, 2GB RAM, 32GB Storage) | 2GHz Octa-core Helio G25 Processor | 5000 mAh Battery₹ 6999₹ 8499Buy On
- 9% OFF
OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z Bass Edition (Bold Black)₹ 1999₹ 2190Buy On
According to the United Nations, a locust swarm 1 square kilometer in size can eat the same amount of food in a day as 35,000 people, a devastating amount of destruction for local farmers."They have destroyed our maize, our pawpaw tree, so it has given us a hard time," Kenyan farmer Victor Juma told Reuters.
Control methods for the swarms include traditional pesticides, which raise environmental concerns, newly developed biopesticides, which are more eco-friendly, and capturing the locusts with nets to turn them into food."Go to some of those remote areas where locust swarms are actually prevailing — a lot of people are eating them," said Chrystanus Tanga, a researcher with the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi. "We think it's something to promote so that a lot more people will engage in this practice, rather than them shying away thinking that it is a primitive man's food."
But eating locusts could come with health drawbacks if they've eaten plants that were sprayed with pesticides, Tanga said.
"If these animals are being killed by chemicals and they happen to be eaten by humans, it's definitely going to have an impact on their health," he told Reuters.So scientists at the insect research center are exploring other control options. Most recently, they figured out that a specific pheromone may trigger them to swarm. They've also found a fungus that can poison the locusts without killing other creatures in the environment.
While several countries and NGOs have donated over $160 million to contain the swarms, making some progress, many fear the coming months will still be devastating.
"Within some time you just — all the trees are just naked," Kenyan locust scout Achilo Christopher told Reuters." Even they go inside the farms, they strip the farms, so it is a very big impact on the food security."
- GST revenue collection for July rises by 33% with ₹1,16,393 crore
- Policy ignition: India's satellite navigation sector set for higher growth trajectory
- COVID-19 cases in Kerala are spiking due to good detection, better reporting and early easing of restrictions
- Ransomware attacks hit record 300 million in first half of 2021, reveals new report
- Tokyo Olympics: India's Satish Kumar exits from quarter-finals in boxing after losing to Bakhodir Jalolov