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Locust outbreak in India desert, Horn of Africa serious, warns UN

Bloomberg November 5 | Updated on November 05, 2019

A small swarm eats as much food daily as about 35,000 people   -  REUTERS

A desert locust outbreak in the Horn of Africa and the Indo-Pakistan border remains serious and threatening, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.

Breeding will continue along both sides of the Red Sea, which could be supplemented by the arrival of a few small swarms on the Eritrean coast from Ethiopia, causing a further increase in locust numbers, the FAO said in a bulletin.

Control operations in October treated 7,000 hectares in Ethiopia and Sudan. India and Pakistan treated 82,944 hectares and 22,650 hectares, respectively. An increased number of swarms formed during October in India and Pakistan, the FAO said. The insects are moving west to Iran where recent rains should allow them to survive until the spring.

An adult locust can consume roughly its own weight of about 2 gm daily, and swarms can cover up to 150 km a day. A small swarm eats as much food daily as about 35,000 people, according to the FAO.

Published on November 05, 2019

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