The government of Pakistan's Punjab province told the Supreme Court that the entire country was under a serious threat of locust invasion if the menace was not contained in the breeding regions.

An area of 300,000 square kilometers, roughly 37 percent of the country's total area, is vulnerable to the desert locust. Sixty percent of the land is in Balochistan, 25 percent in Sindh and 15 percent in Punjab's Cholistan region, reports Dawn news.

Breeding Zone

Locust threat
Locust Wikimedia Commons

Balochistan falls within an area known as a spring breeding zone while Punjab and Sindh are in the summer breeding zone, according to a report placed by the Punjab government before the Supreme Court on Saturday.

The report was filed as part of a reply to a query on May 19 by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed about the food security situation in view of the locust invasion. The Chief Justice was hearing a case on steps taken by the government to tackle the coronavirus crisis. Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan had expressed fears that Pakistan was afflicted not only with a medical emergency of gigantic proportions but also an imminent locust threat which posed a danger to food security.

Can Destroy 10% of World's Food Grain

Punjab highlighted the need for deployment of maximum resources in the summer breeding areas of the country. Desert locusts, which belongs to the grasshopper family Acrididae, can destroy 10 percent of the world's food grain and cause a serious shortage. Even a swarm over one square kilometer can gobble up an amount of food grain in one day that can be sufficient for about 35,000 people.