China has amassed an army of 100,000 ducks that are set to go to war with Pakistan’s devastating swarm of locusts.
According to the Chinese government, one duck can eat more than 200 locusts a day which makes them much more effective than a traditional pesticide.
The ducks will be sent to Pakistan later this year to help the country deal with what it says is the worst swarm in over two decades. Somewhat amusingly, the ducks are being referred to as a ‘biological weapon’.
Lu Lizhi, a senior researcher with the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, explained that chickens are also an option – but they can only manage 70 locusts in a day.
‘Ducks like to stay in a group so they are easier to manage than chickens,’ he told Chinese media.
Large areas of Pakistan have been devastated by the locusts – and the insects have even reached as far as Europe.
“Duck troops” gather at the border to face locust swarms pic.twitter.com/1J4r3dmmJk
— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) February 19, 2020
The duck army will receive a trial deployment in China’s western Xinjiang province first, before being sent to Pakistan’s worst-affected areas of Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab provinces.
This isn’t the first time the ducks have been called into action to fight the locusts. In 2000, China sent 30,000 ducks from Zhejiang province to Xinjiang to battle a locust infestation.
Meanwhile, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has set up Locust watch that is tracking outbreaks of the pests from May 2018 to the present.
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