April 30, 2019
Some two months after massive swarms of locusts attacked southern Iran, the government allocated a 10 billion tuman budget for fighting the pest, Mehr news agency reported on Monday April 29.
Mehr added that the Iranian Pest Control Authority had called for a 12 billion tuman [roughly $1,200,000 at the market rate and $3 million at the government rate] budget in February, at least two months before the locusts attacked, not knowing the possible extent of the attack.
In Mid-April, the authority warned the government that confronting the threat of locusts might be impossible if they do not get the pest prevention budget within two weeks.
The authority added that coupled with the impact of recent floods in Iran, the locust attack could dramatically damage the region’s economy causing a major crisis if urgent measures are not taken by the government.
In the meantime, migrating locusts covered farmlands in southwestern, southern and southeastern Iran from the West, reaching areas as far as Sistan and Baluchestan province neighboring Pakistan.
The latest widespread locust attack on Iran’s farmlands took place in 1961 causing damages to 2,500,000 hectares of lands.