ISLAMABAD - Locusts have destroyed crop fields and have ruined a year’s worth of hard work, said Muhammad Akram, a farmer in Mianwali.

Muhammad Akram works every year to cultivate the land with wheat and expects this time of the year to be most beneficial as the cultivated crop fields approach harvest.

However, Muhammad Akram weeps over the current situation of the farmlands and the farmers who tend to it. While talking to this correspondent, he stated that 80 to 90 percent of their crops were either eaten or destroyed by the locust attacks.The stressed farmer explained that the locusts had attacked their fields not just once, but more than twice.

Asked about the loss in terms of money Akram explained that there is no gain expected from this year as there were no crops left to sell.

Akram also said that most of the farmers in Mianwali were only farmers and not the owners of the cultivated lands. Therefore, the situation was worrisome, especially for the farmers who used to earn money only at this time in the whole year.

According to the information shared by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), locusts are present in 48 districts of the country at the moment. 

33 districts of Balochistan, 10 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2 districts of Punjab and 3 districts of Sindh are affected by these locust swarms. Khuzdar, Awaran, Noshki, Chaghi, Gwadar, Athal, Ketch, Panjgur, Kharan, Vishk, Quetta and other districts in Balochistan are affected.

Whereas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa , districts of Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, North and South Waziristan, Lakki Marwat, Karak, Karam, Orakzai, Peshawar and Khyber are affected by locust attacks. In Punjab, districts of Mianwali and Dera Ghazi Khan and in Sindh, Shaheed Benazirabad and Hyderabad have been attacked by locust swarms.

Surveys and control operations of locust affected areas is underway by the National Disaster Management Authority.

According to the press release issued by NDMA, 1122 teams took part in the locust control operation. In the last 24 hours, an area of 355,000 hectares was surveyed.

In an hour, 4830 hectares were sprayed with heart-destroying drugs and 3400 hectares was sprayed in Balochistan.