LAKKI MARWAT: Locusts have once again attacked standing crops in Lakki Marwat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and damaging these crops badly, while the administration has not taken any major step to stop it.

Locusts entered Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through Dera Ismail Khan last month from where they entered Lakki Marwat and damaged crops. Locusts moved on to other areas while passing through the border areas of Pakistan and threat was over at that time. But locusts have again made their entry to Lakki Marwat with even greater proportion and threat.

The local people said locusts in millions have entered Wanda Nizami, Wanda Baro and Tatarkhel areas of Lakki Marwat for the last few days and attacked standing crops. These areas nowadays have wheat and gram season and these crops have been damaged in large areas by locusts.

The area people said the remaining crops will also be damaged if timely measures were not taken to control locusts. They said locusts have entered the area in greater numbers than the previous attacks and they are spread over several kilometers area. They said the issue seems to be out of control of the Agriculture Department.

The local farmers are employing different traditional techniques to get rid of locusts, but these techniques are not yielding desired results.

Abdul Qayyum Khan, an official of the Agriculture Department, conceded that the Department has failed in controlling locusts mainly due to financial constraints and non-availability of required equipment. However, he said, efforts are being made to overcome the challenge in available resources.

People of the area said locusts will eat up every plant in the area if timely measures were not taken to control them.

Agriculture experts say locusts first originated in Tharparkar area of Sindh, and then played havoc with fields in southern parts of Punjab and entered finally in KP through DI Khan.
The government had imposed emergency in various areas affected by locusts, but no visible steps were taken for controlling it. Experts believe that locusts attack may put its impact on total agricultural yields in the country and it may also result into food shortage.