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Swarms of locusts infest many nations in Africa and because of them food security in many Eastern Africa, Middle-West and South Asia country is threatened.
Outcries from farmers swarm from everywhere as well, on how best to tackle the invasion in houses, fields, cities and villages. Swarms of locusts are often characterized by migration, from one area to the other. This could last for days or weeks.
Erratic climate change is often associated with unleashing dire situations such as drought, insect infestations and so on. Many people wonder of the invasion of locust swarms, but few ponder how we can turn sorrows into a lucrative business.
Agriculture contributes to most of the rural livelihood and supports 70 percent of the population with employment, either directly or indirectly. Having mentioned that, you may be worried as a farmer when unforeseen swarms of locust invade your neighboring country. Panic and fear creeps in indefinitely, as you may be next.
What can be done to mitigate the impact of locust swarms?
Inform and train the population to face the event
- Every citizen should be sensitized on the importance of alerting relevant authorities when suspicious of any locust activities in an area. In so doing uncontrolled spread can be minimized.
- Reaching out to as many communities as possible is crucial. Continental awareness is vital so as to help fight these plagues that may arise, and it must be achieved through news circulating on televisions or various social media platforms or radios.
- For the elderly, who might have slim chances on accessing news on time, educational seminars can be arranged. These seminars are helpful because knowledge helps containing fear and panic: their negative effects could be suppressed as the elderly are informed on time. Hence, time for preparing is opportune.
Get help from crop experts
- We ought not to overlook the potential dangers that can be posed by locusts on a corn field or crop yield a farmer has, both directly and indirectly, due to a bad management of the counteractions.
- Gathering scientists and chemists as trained experts to help tackle the problem is a necessity. The chemicals that may be used to exterminate the locusts could pose a danger in the future, for people and underground biota.
- Disruption of soil composition could turn into deleterious yields in the future, hence, there is the need of sustainable handling of challenges that may arise in our areas.
- A change in cultivars as well, for instance sorghum or millet may be an option after an invasion of insects.
Make a disgrace into an opportunity
Turning worries into a business venture is a thought that hardly crosses many. But harvesting these locust swarms could yield profit for a farmer.
Agriculture graduates with assistance from trained expertise in business are developing projects towards, for example through collection of locusts for further analysis prior to selling them to the general public. Others are harvesting locusts to make animal feed and fertilizers out of them.
Such that, these projects help alleviate poverty among youth dependent on family members for support and also lower the negative impact of locusts’ invasion on agricultural economies.
Despite challenges associated with insect infestation in an area, farming communities should persevere and not give up on farming. Often times, the passion to continue farming is lost for some as a result of trauma caused by such circumstances.
In conclusion, collective effort from different stakeholders is deemed beneficial in countering unanticipated circumstances that may present themselves.
- Auderer, Ashley. “Kenya: Combating the Growing Locust Swarms.”