Locusts threaten the food supply of 20 million Africans – now experts want locals to eat the insects

  • Swarms of locusts in East African countries are threatening the food supply of more than 20 million people.
  • Now, experts are looking for creative solutions to deal with the pests — including eating them.
  • Desert locusts are the most destructive migratory pest in the world, and a swarm can eat the same amount of food in a day as 35,000 people.
    Swarms of locusts in East African countries are threatening the food supply of more than 20 million people at a time when food is already scarce because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Now, experts are looking for creative solutions to deal with the pests — including eating them.

    Desert locusts are considered the most destructive migratory pest in the world. They usually live solitary lives in desert environments, but heavy rainfall allowed their eggs to survive in unprecedented numbers this season.

    The swarms first appeared in Kenya in late December 2019, with a second wave following in April. The region is now bracing for a third, possibly bigger wave in the weeks ahead. Locusts haven’t been seen at this scale, in these numbers, for 70 years.

    According to the United Nations, a locust swarm 1 square kilometer in size can eat the same amount of food in a day as 35,000 people, a devastating amount of destruction for local farmers.

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