Locust insects Problems in Nepal and Solution For Salah in Nepal:- About 60 years ago, locusts around Kathmandu caused the disorder. They destroyed acres of grain.
According to agricultural history books, this in turn led to hunger. The same insect species that comes from Africa may be returning to Nepal through Iran, Pakistan, and India.
Salahas are a species of salah (short-horned) that travels in groups. One group consists of millions of locusts and travels in such a way as to obscure the sunlight. Salahas are known to travel from one field to another and eat the harvest, from their leaves to branches and roots, in no time.
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The possible arrival of the salahas in Nepal has caught the attention of many, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development. Sahadev Humagain, head of the Plant and Pesticide Quarantine Management Center, says that salahas pose a real threat to any agricultural area as they eat everything and make the land sterile.
Why Nepal is in danger because of Salah?
Given the past, it can be assumed that Nepalese districts near Indian states, mainly Uttrakhand and Uttar Pradesh, are at higher risk. Therefore, there is an increased risk of salahas reaching Nepal from the west and southwest sides. Before analyzing the effects of the insect in Nepal, one must first examine the effects in India.
Rajasthan and Gujarat from India first reported the outbreak in 1993, which allegedly came from Pakistan. The outbreak was generally reported from mid-May to mid-October. This year, the outbreak was first observed in Gujarat and some 700 miles away in Rajasthan after Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh also reported the crisis.
The early salaha outbreak in April, not mid-May, suggests that their behavior is changing and that the favorable environment is spreading. On the other hand, two to three weeks after the start of the monsoon is the most favorable reproductive environment for locusts, further increasing the chances of spread in Nepal.
According to experts, the reason for the increase in the size of salahas is climate change. Its world population has increased 8,000 times. Such an increase has also been recorded in the past when the cause was a drought in the environment. Its influence on nature was lasting.
Within three or four days they can reach the eastern part of Nepal from the west, and in two or three days they can reach the northern part. This clearly shows the destructive nature of insects.
A glimmer of hope is that easterly winds coming from the Bay of Bengal through eastern Nepal can help redirect salahas and prevent them from entering the country.
Some preventive measures for this Attack of Salah in Nepal
A new technical committee was formed to address the issue at a meeting led by Agriculture Minister Rajendra Prasad Bhari.
The committee will investigate and plan the possible penetration of the insect swarm and its effects, as well as the management and minimization of the effects. The committee will import pesticides if deemed necessary.
Some effective way to reduce all these problems:
- Follow the path of the common salaha in various states of India and try to trace all the path in Nepal as well which helps to find the actual direction of locust
- List locusts as possible dangerous insect species and discuss management guidelines to be ready for the outbreak then only we can be safe from this problem.
- Form the Invasive Insect Management Center to examine, monitor, and investigate violent insects, and then share the information with farmers.
- Discuss effective plans to control and manage salahas with other South Asian countries.
- Collaborate with governmental and non-governmental organizations, teams, and universities that conduct agricultural research to create short and long-term plans.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, farmers in the districts of Bara, Parsa, Rupandehi, and Sarlahi have reported an increase in the number of insects, possibly salahas, on their farmland.
“Ministry officials at the sites also suspected that the insect was a salaha, but it has not yet been confirmed,” said Hari Bahadur KC, a ministry spokesman. Locusts, popularly called “Salaha” in Nepal, are short-horned salahas that live for 90 days and eat insatiable leaves and damage large amounts of plants in no time.
Insects generally appear in a flock and travel to a variety of areas. Previously, the invasion of insects in Nepal was observed in 1962. The locust threat increased at a time when government officials claimed that the chances of an outbreak in the country are low due to its geographical location.
This year, the flock of insects has traveled from North Africa through Sudan, Iran, and Pakistan, and then to various parts of India. The salaha outbreak was observed last February in several African countries that later affected India in May.
KC said uneven winds that moved from the south to the northeast region had likely brought the insect into the country. Lobsters can exist in two different behaviors (solitary and sociable). When population density is low, lobsters behave like individuals.
However, when the density of the salaha population is high, individuals experience behavioral and physiological changes known as phase polyphenism and form groups of nymphs or groups of adults who behave socially.
In addition to behavioral changes, phase change can be accompanied by changes in body shape and color, as well as infertility, physiology, and survival. These changes are so dramatic in some species that the shoal and non-shoal forms were once considered different species.
The migratory salaha has all the characteristics associated with the phase change: differences in the shape and color of the body, fertility and herd behavior, both in the nymph’s stage of life and in adulthood, forming bands dense and teeming.
At birth, a salaha emerges wingless like a flightless nymph that can be lonely or sociable. A nymph can also switch between behavioral phases before becoming a flying adult after 24 to 95 days.
Lobster flocks are generally on the move and can travel great distances. Some species can travel 81 miles or more per day. Locust swarms also devastate crops and cause extensive agricultural damage. This can lead to hunger and starvation.
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