According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), locust invasion has caused an unusual threat to food security and livelihood in parts of East and West Africa, South West Asia, and India. Such invasions are usual. However, their frequency and scale in recent times seems to be unusual. It said that the climate change and associated extreme weather events are to be blamed.

Desert locusts:

Hotspots for locust threatening activity:

· The Horn of Africa, the worst affected as swarms increase in Ethiopia and Somalia and spread to other countries within a 200-km radius.

· The Red Sea, affecting the Sudan-Egypt border.

· Originating at the Indo-Pakistan border; and Southwest Asia, causing damage in Iran, India and Pakistan.

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How this invasion began:

Threat to India:

Gregarious Phase:·         In this phase individual locusts group together to form swarms.·         Gregarious locusts are colorful, move faster, and are attracted to other locusts. It is in this phase that locusts form the oppressive swarms that can blacken the skies and decimate crops.Locust Control & Research (LCR) (Under Ministry of Agriculture and farmers welfare)·         The Locust Warning Organization includes activities viz. :-Regular extensive survey and monitoring of locust population in scheduled desert area (SDA) (Rajasthan, Gujarat and part of Haryana) which is kept check on local breeding and invasion of locusts besides control of its population.Research on the efficacy of native and exotic bio-agents for control of locusts and grasshoppers through biological means protects the environment from ill effects of chemical pesticides.The Locust warning organisation comes under the Directorate of Plant Protection under the Agriculture ministry.Early such events: A swarm flew from northwest Africa to Great Britain in 1954 and another from West Africa to the Caribbean in 1988. 

What is the relationship between locusts and and climate change:

How India is handling the situation:

What is needed:

Source:”ORF/FAO “.

Possible UPSC CSE Mains Question:

Discuss the impact of the recent locust attack on food security of the nation. How is it related to climate change?