When did the locust attacks start?
Swarms of desert locusts invaded the crops of Pakistan last year. The event took place in June when Pakistan was going through a vulnerable point financially and economically. Furthermore, political instability was also on the rise.
What were the damages?
Soon, the locusts started to destroy crops all across the country. More than 61 districts were affected by the situation. In many reports, it was said that farmers are going bankrupt trying to counter this situation. Consequently, the prices of the goods skyrocketed as many farmers failed to fill the supply gap. The country was being pushed into another disaster by these little creatures. On the other hand, India was also facing the same situation in terms of locust attacks. Neighbouring countries such as Iran and Afghanistan also witnessed their presence.
How did Pakistan deal with the crisis?
The government, as usual, was not as quick to act as it should have. However, as the markets bore the brunt of supply disruption, authorities had to intervene. Moreover, the government immediately declared a national emergency. This called for drastic and direct measures in dealing with this situation.
In many counties, the government introduced a scheme to “purchase” locusts. Essentially, it compelled the people to catch locusts and sell them to the government at certain rupee amount. Many individuals cashed in on the opportunity and eradicated herds of locusts for cash.
Where are locusts present right now?
According to teams, locusts are still prevalent across certain regions of the country but the situation is largely in control. The supply chain disruptions have been handled along with farmer crisis. The governments of the states acted upon the emergency to swiftly implement reforms.
Since locusts breed and lay eggs extremely quickly, it is hard to counter their activities solely by reforms. In many cases, it takes only two weeks for locusts to produce a newer generation.
So, what is the situation?
All in all, Pakistan is dealing with the crisis in a professional manner. It can be estimated that with just a few hiccups, the country’s agricultural sector will be back on its feet.