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The United Nation’s (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in its latest situation update has asked India, Pakistan in Asia and Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Somalia in Africa to be on high alert for the next four weeks in view of locust breeding.

The FAO has warned that although locust control operations are in place, a northerly movement of the swarms in these countries is on the cards.

Some of the swarms in north-west Kenya are expected to transit through South Sudan to reach the summer breeding areas of Sudan, which has reported some monsoon rains.

The swarms could move towards eastern Chad and spread westwards across the northern Sahel part of west Africa.

Swarms that accumulate in northern Somalia are likely to migrate across the Indian Ocean to the summer breeding areas along the Indo-Pakistan border.

“Spring-bred swarms are present along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border where they are awaiting the onset of the monsoon rains that will start in the coming days and allow the swarms to mature and lay eggs. In Pakistan, some swarms have already started laying eggs in Nagaparkar of south-east Sindh province near the Indian border, while swarms are present in the Indus Valley and are starting to form the hopper bands in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province,” the FAO said.

The UN organisation said swarms and adult groups are largely present in the west of Jaipur in Rajasthan but some infestations have been reported in parts of Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Uttar Pradesh (UP). At least one small group of immature adults moved north of UP last Saturday, reaching the northern districts of Kushinagar and Sidharth Nagar where they split up and a few crossed across the border to the central lowlands near Butwal in Nepal’s Terai region.

In Iran, locust infestations declined further in the south. Only adult groups remain along the Pakistan border in the interior of Sistan-Baluchistan province and hopper groups are also present in South Khorasan province.
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