KATHMANDU, July 2: A locust swarm that is currently in the Indian side of the border areas might head towards Nepal, according to the Plant Quarantine and Pesticide Management Center under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD).
The center on Wednesday, issuing a statement regarding the possibility of their entrance, said that a swarm of locusts that was in Bhagalpur and Motihari is heading toward Champaran district through Kushinagar. Indian officials have presumed that the swarm of locusts will reach Darjeeling and Siliguri at this rate. Stating that the wind direction from East to West might bring the swarm into Nepal, the center has requested people from Tarai, inner-Tarai valleys and lower hilly areas along with the concerned stakeholders to remain on alert.
The center has asked the locals to immediately inform the local municipality, Agriculture Knowledge Center or local security bodies if they identify the signal of locusts’ entrance in their locality. “Flowers and plants can be protected from the swarm if they are covered properly and crops cultured inside the tunnel can be protected by using lace prominently used to prohibit insects inside the tunnel,” the centre has suggested, adding, “The damage to paddy fields can be minimized by collecting water in the paddy fields.”
Nepal had confirmed the entry of locust swarms into the country on June 27 and since then they have been spotted in more than 40 districts of Nepal. Though experts have said that the scattered swarm has caused little damage to the crops, they have been insisting that a rather huge swarm might enter Nepal which can cause significant damage to the crops.