BADIN              -          Swarms of locusts appeared in the skies here and adjoining areas on Saturday, and damaged standing crops, trees and grass.

Locals told journalists that thousands of insects attacked vast areas in Jhudo, Khoski, Nindo, Kadhan, Bhugra Memon, Shadi as farmers watched helplessly their crops being damaged in front of their eyes.

Farmers said that locusts posed a serious threat to whatever was left of their crops, and demanded the authorities to send teams to their areas to spray pesticides in order to save them from further losses.

They said that in the absence of anti-locust spray, they had no other option but to fall back on old, traditional methods to scare the insects. They said they beat drums and played audio cassettes at a high volume for the purpose, but to no avail. Meanwhile, large swarms of locusts resumed attacks on cultivated lands and orchards in different parts of the district Mirpurkhas on Saturday, making the farmers worried about their crops.

Farmers complained that unrelenting attacks by the insects had put a question mark over the efficiency of the plant protection department and agriculture extension department which had utterly failed in eliminating locusts and thwarting their attacks. They said that although insects had destroyed wheat and other crops in different parts of the district over the past six months, the departments concerned had been paying only lip service.