The country deployed 100,000 ducks to the border where China meets Pakistan and India on Wednesday, February 19, with the ducks expected to effectively control over 400 billion locusts expected to reach the border.
A video released by state-owned broadcaster CGTN showed the ducks christened ‘duck troops’ waddling down a road on their way to the border.
According to Chinese media outlets, one duck can “control” a four-square-meter of land by eating the locusts invading it.
Ducks deployed to deal with locusts in China on February 24, 2020
It is not the first time China has deployed the ‘duck troops’ to combat locusts. 1,000 ducks were sent to the Xinjiang area, which has dry weather conditions, to combat locusts following a similar invasion in June 2018.
In Pakistan, the locust invasion has already been declared a national emergency. Rajasthan and Gujarat have been the worst-hit areas in India with farmers counting their losses.
The locusts, including those ravaging Kenya, are believed to have originated in the Middle East.
According to multiple experts, the Cyclone Mekunu which hit the desert covering Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen in May 2018 left a lot of rainwater gathered, creating ideal conditions for locusts to breed.
The locusts then flew in swarms across borders in search of food, leading them to ravage parts of East Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
In Kenya, the government has been scrambling to control the locusts which first crossed the country’s borders in December 2019 from Somalia.
Focus has been on deploying spraying aircraft, supplying pesticides and mobilizing international support to deal with the menace.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya raised eyebrows when he asked Kenyans not to worry about the locusts as they would soon ‘die of old age’.
“We’ve conducted an aerial surveillance and ascertained that the yellow locusts you see around are very old and are actually nearing the end of their lifespan.
“These old locusts pose no threat. I want you to understand the science of locusts. They’re about to hatch their eggs and so they’re just going to fly to where they’ll hatch,” he stated on February 17 in Mbeere North, Embu County.
Watch a video of the ducks below courtesy of CGTN: