An official source who did not wish to be named said India had proposed a trilateral response in partnership with Pakistan and Iran to combat the desert locust wave sweeping across the Afro-Asian region.

India has suggested to Pakistan that both countries coordinate locust control operations along the border and that India can facilitate supply of Malathion a pesticide to Pakistan the official said.

Desert locusts pose a major threat to food security in the region, including India. A typical locust swarm, which can vary from less than one square kilometre to several hundred square kilometres, can devastate farmlands. A one square kilometre swarm, containing about 40 million locusts, can in a day eat as much food as 35000 people

Assuming that each individual consumes 2.3 kg of food per day, says the Food and Agriculture Organisation. In India small swarms of desert locusts, in the past weeks have already arrived from Pakistan moving east into Rajasthan and reaching Jodhpur.

The official source said India and Pakistan had a regular mechanism, led by their Locust Officers who hold six annual border meetings between June and November. This dialogue is held either at Munabao in Rajasthan or Khokhropar on the Pakistani side.

Officials of the two neighbors are also in wireless contact with each other during these months from their perches in Jodhpur and Karachi.

Rajasthan has borne the brunt of the locust attacks — 1,49,821 hectares were damaged, of which 1,34,959 hectares sustained severe crop damage of over 33 percent. In Gujarat, 18,727 hectares of farmland were affected.

The majority of the damaged crops comprised wheat, mustard, oilseed, and cumin.

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