During the recent COP26, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has called for an adaptation plan on climate change and locust outbreaks.
The Global Landscapes Forum Climate Hybrid Conference (GLF Climate 2021) was held alongside COP26. This has underscored the fact that desert locust outbreaks are closely linked to climate change.
- For example, a change in the cyclonic pattern over the Arabian Sea in the year 2020 was one of the reasons behind the locust attack in East Africa, West and South Asia. The unusual rainfall in Iran had helped in their breeding.
- Therefore, it has been suggested in this conference that action against pests and diseases should also be included in climate change mitigation plans.
- However, it has cautioned against the use of highly toxic insecticides such as Chlorpyrifos and Malathion to control the invasion of desert locusts. These pesticides adversely affect the environment and human health.
They belong to the Grasshopper family and they are omnivores. Their life span is 90 days. Four species of locusts are found in India:
- The desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria)
- The migratory locust (Locusta migratoria)
- Patanga succincta, the Bombay locust
- Anacridium aegyptium, the Egyptian grasshopper or Egyptian locust
- Locusts have three breeding seasons – winter breeding (November to December), spring breeding (January to June) and summer breeding (July to October).
- In India, their breeding season occurs only in the summer season.
Locust Warning Organization (LWO) is under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. It is the body responsible for monitoring, surveying and controlling the desert locust.
Source – The Hindu