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China giving $200 million to stop locust as swarms ravage crops in India and Pakistan

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | February 22, 2020
China has heightened $200 million prevention and control measures to protect its cropland from desert locusts that have ravaged India and Pakistan, despite assurances that the likelihood of a large scale attack was marginal.
India locust
Food in China   India locust
Locusts, which decimate almost all green vegetation including crops and trees, have swarmed swathes of agricultural land on the India Pakistan border, an area identified as a global hotspot for the pests by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Topics: China locust India Pakistan

However, officials at the FAO have played down the threat, saying a huge plague of locusts was unlikely.

“There is no threat to China by the desert locust because of a) the wind direction and b) they cannot cross the Himalaya Mountains because they are too tall and the air is too cold so this is a natural barrier,” said FAO’s senior locust forecasting officer Keith Cressman by email.

China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs agreed the threat was small, but officials are not leaving anything involving national food security to chance.