KARACHI: After invading desert areas of Sindh, hordes of locusts have plagued several urban areas of the province and continued their stay over a longer period, despite experts’ prediction that they would soon leave the region and travel back to Iran through Balochistan.
From Karachi, the grasshoppers have flown into Dahrki, Obaro, Reti and their suburban areas. They have affected crops of wheat and sugarcane.
No arrangements have been made from the administration to control their movement. Farmers have demanded from the administration to immediately take notice of their infestation and spray grasshopper-repellant fumigation to protect their crops.
Earlier this month, plagues of grasshoppers were spotted roaming about in different localities, including Malir, Shah Faisal Colony, Drigh Road, Gulshan Town and Bahadurabad in Karachi.
The Department of Plant Protection of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research had said that there was nothing to worry about as the crop-devouring insect did not pose any risk to the food supply.
They were migrating from summer-monsoon breeding zone towards coastal areas of Balochistan, it had said.
Sindh Minister for Agriculture Ismail Rahu had 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.
Dawn newspaper had 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.”