Massive Locust Invasion in Gujarat
The farmlands in Gujarat border are in great threat from locust invasion. The insects were flying from Pakistan Sindh province and spread in the villages of Gujarat and Rajasthan. The locusts emerged from Sudan and Eritrea in the coast of Red Sea.
The invasion of the locust was alerted from UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The trajectory of the swarms was tracked and the invasion was also predicted by Locust Warning Organization (LWO) in Jodhpur. However, precautionary measures were not taken.
The FAO operates the DLIS (Desert Locust Information Service) headquartered in Rome, Italy. It monitors desert locusts all over the world. It maintains historical locust archives dating back to 1930s. Also, it provides training and prepares publications on various aspects all over the world. The service provides information about the locust situation and gives timely warnings to countries that are at risks of invasion.
According to FAO, an average swarm destroys crops that can feed 2,500 people per year.
Indian Government in 1939 established Locust Warning Organization (LWO). It operates under ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research). The headquarters of the organization is located in Jodhpur. The LWO monitors 2 lakh square kilometres of desert area in parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana.