Farmer sets land on fire as last resort to stop locusts from eating crops

A farmer has set her land on fire in desperate bids to protect her crops from getting destroyed by swarms of locusts.

Jen and her family have a one-acre farm in East Africa, which was one of the worst-hit regions during the outbreak of desert locusts in the past few months.

She told reporter Sahar Zand on Channel 4’s programme, Unreported World, of her fear of locusts threats.

Jen said: “My biggest worry is when they [the locusts] eat this. I am finished.

“Because I am no employed anywhere else, this farm feeds me. This is my job.”

Despite Jen’s farm was separated from the main road by a river, it didn’t stop the locusts from crossing over and landing on her crops.



Sahar was told that the government would operate the aerial application of pesticides at most of the areas, but it won’t fly above Jen and her neighbouring farmer’s lands due to the potential risks of water contamination.

Jen has to come up with her own tricks and decided to light fire on her land.

In the programme it shows Jen burning dry leaves to create huge plumes of smoke in the field.



Jen decided to set smoke on her farm to repel a small swarm of locusts

Sahar says: “Since the locusts arrived yesterday, the farmers have been doing everything they can to try and repel them from their farms.

“Because they know, as soon as one of them, a couple of them, come into their farms, the rest will follow.

“First they will devour everything, then they will lay eggs and their numbers will multiply.”

As the smoke starts filling up the field, the locusts start to take flight to the sky and move away from Jen’s farm.

“They’re all above the farm now,” Sahar added. “They fly over us but don’t land.”

The insects have moved on to her neighbour’s farms but Jen said the solution could only fend off a small swarm of locusts.

Asked how confident she thinks the government to help locals tackle the locusts problems, Jen replies: “Are they going to help me?

“The government is going to help me? I don’t know. I don’t know.”

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