The newest members of the Chinese army are on standby, ready to fight a swarm of crop-eating pests, which threatens the regional food security.
An army of 100,000 ducks is being prepared to be sent as early as the second half of this year to fight off the desert locust outbreak.
Lu Lizhi, senior researcher of the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences is in charge of the project together with a university in Pakistan.
He states that the ducks are “biological weapons” and is possibly much more effective than pesticides.
While chickens can eat up to 70 locusts a day, Lu said in a telephone interview, “one duck is able to eat more than 200 locusts a day.”
“Ducks like to stay in a group so they are easier to manage than chickens.”
The fierce fowls will first undergo a trial that will take place in China’s western region of Xinjiang province.
Swarms of desert locusts have been rapidly destroying crops from eastern Africa to South Asia.
In Pakistan, unseasonal rain and low quality seeds, together with the locust infestation, adds to the country’s already fragile economy.
The country had declared an emergency earlier this month, as the locust numbers are at their worst in more than two decades.
China shares a land border with Pakistan and India; hence, it is crucial for them to prevent the insect invasion.
According to a report, a group of Chinese agricultural experts visited Pakistan to help control the locust outbreaks.
In addition to the unconventional solution China is offering, Pakistan’s government has urged its people to add locusts on their menu.
As per a local newspaper report, the citizens should take advantage of the situation and make delicious meals using locusts as their main ingredient.