KARACHI: Swarms of locusts (grasshoppers) are on the loose in Karachi and have been spotted roaming about in different localities, including Malir, Shah Faisal Colony, Drigh Road, Gulshan Town and Bahadurabad.
The Department of Plant Protection of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research has said that there was nothing to worry about as the crop-devouring insect does not pose any risk to the food supply.
They are migrating from summer-monsoon breeding zone towards coastal areas of Balochistan.
Sindh Minister for Agriculture Ismail Rahu also confirmed that the locusts would stay in Karachi during the night and then fly for Balochistan. From Balochistan they would head towards Iran, he said.
Also Read: Tharis serve grasshoppers in biryani
Dawn newspaper has quoted the technical director of the plant plantation department, Muhammad Tariq Khan, as saying that “the desert locust travel during day time and rest during the night.”
The desert grasshoppers have not only infested Karachi but they have recently invaded Ehiopia, Kenya, Eritrea and Sudan as well.
Tariq Khan said the grasshoppers preferred to live in a desert area as they require “sandy soil with moisture and vegetation for their breeding”.
Due to preventive measures taken by the government, the locusts’ movement has been restricted to desert areas, so that they could not attack crops.
Ismail Rahu said the citizens should not worry as they do not hurt.
“As the locusts have come to the Karachiites themselves, so why don’t they take benefit from them and make their biryani and karahi,” he said.
In the end of Sept this year, farmers of Thar district had found solution to the grasshoppers attack on their crops through frying and making biryani from them.
Interestingly, people came from far away to eat the biryani and karahi gosht dishes made from these grasshoppers in Chachro area of the Thar district. Those who introduced these dishes say that the grasshoppers, full of vitamins, tasted like fish and the dishes were sold from Rs200 to Rs300 per plate.
The locusts are first thoroughly washed then dried in sunlight, after that they are fried on low flame.