Titanic swarms of desert Locusts Are A Plague Of Biblical Scope In 2020 resembling dark storm clouds are descending ravenously on the Horn of Africa.
They’re roving through croplands and flattening farms in a devastating salvo experts are calling an unprecedented threat to food security.
On the ground, subsistence planters can do nothing but watch — with horror and at their fields in dismay.
Locusts have been around since at least the time of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt, 32 B.C., despoiling some of the world’s weakest regions, multiplying to billions and then vanishing, in irregular booms and busts.
If the 2020 version of these marauders stay steady on their warpath, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization says desert locusts can pose a threat to the livelihoods of 10 percent of the world’s population.
The peril may already be underway: Early June projections by the FAO are forecasting a second generation of spring-bred locusts in Eastern Africa, giving rise to new, powerful swarms of locust babies capable of wreaking havoc until mid-July or beyond.
Here are five things you need to know about locusts to understand the current crisis — and why the tiny invaders are such a big deal.
Originally Publish at: https://www.npr.org/