Stating that the locust swarms entered India earlier than their usual time, the Indian Ministry of Environment stated on Friday that locust swarms from Pakistan have entered the states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh, threatening major damage to standing cotton crops and vegetables.
These locusts are short-horned grasshoppers. A swarm of the insects is capable of devouring the same amount of food in one day as 35,000 people.
"During the current year, locust swarms have entered India earlier than their normal time of June and July. States are adopting various means to control the swarm of locusts. Rajasthan is the most affected state," a spokesperson of the Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change said.
Pakistan has been grappling with the issue of locust swarms and Indian states that share border with Pakistan, such as Rajasthan, have earlier borne the maximum agricultural damage caused by the insect.
While asking for help from the federal government, governments in states such as Uttar Pradesh have kicked off a public awareness drive for farmers, asking them to spray pesticides and take other measures to deal with the attack.
The Indian government often coordinates with countries such as Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where locust attacks are a regular occurrence.
Recently, the country took up the matter with Iran and Pakistan, extending them pesticide support. While the former responded positively, the latter has yet to respond.