Locusts dealt a severe blow to mango, cotton and other crops on Monday, sparking fears of a looming food shortage in case the government fails to act soon. The locust attack took place in different areas of Multan, Rajanpur, district Muzaffargarh and Kandhkot. Mango, cotton crops and rice saplings were severely damaged by the attack. In Multan, locusts attacked trees located in parks and at sidewalks at the Qasim Bela, Cantt, Pull Bararan, Old Shujabad road, Chowk Shah Abbas and Vehari Road areas.In Rajanpur, mango, cotton and other crops were damaged by the locust attack. In Muzaffargarh, locusts attacked crops and mango orchards in Doaaba, Lutkaran, Chak Rohari, Chak Mathan, Lalpur, Sanki and surrounding areas. With no help from the government, locals in Muzaffargarh attempted to ward off the locusts by beating drums in an attempt to scare them away. To effectively eliminate locusts, farmers have called on the government to spray crops from airplanes instead of spraying only certain areas.In Kandhkot, locusts destroyed rice saplings, grass and trees. Locals in the city demanded the government conduct aerial spray to ensure the protection of food crops. Earlier, a said that officials were concerned about farmlands in Sindh once again coming under a massive attack of locust swarms from Iran by May 15 which could prove even more harmful for the crops in the province as compared to the locust attack of the last year.The information was shared by officials of the Plant Protection Department (PPD), who attended a high-level meeting at the Sindh Secretariat last month on the expected locust attack in the province.The PPD officials had told Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah that up to 60 countries around the world have been affected by locust swarms.Members of the meeting were informed that 30 spots have been identified in Sindh where camps would be established for tackling the issue of the impending locust attack. Fifty-seven teams comprising 180 personnel were being created to address the emergency.It was decided in the meeting that 100,000 litres of pesticide would be sprayed through aerial means while 25,000 litres of pesticide would be used against locust swarms via the boom spray method.Meanwhile, Sindh’s Agriculture Minister Ismail Rahoo has said that the provincial government teams have conducted anti-locust sprays at various parts of the province. Ismail Rahoo in a social media statement on Tuesday said that the swarms of locusts have affected crops in nine districts of Sindh.Agriculture minister said that according to reports by some media groups, NDMA had declared presence of locusts in only two districts of Sindh. He termed these reports as incorrect. “Today’s NDMA chart shows presence of locusts in nine districts of the presence,” he said. Ground teams of provincial agriculture department yesterday conducted spray at 1408 acres, the minister said.Provincial teams conducted spray in Khairpur, Sanghar, Shaheed Benazirabad, Kashmore, Kandhkot, Dadu, Qambar-Shahdadkot, Matyari, Jamshoro, Hyderabad, Tharparkar and Badin districts, while the federal government has yet to start aerial spray.He said the swarms of locusts are entering in Sindh and southern Punjab from Balochistan.Sindh minister apprehended that the locust attacks could inflict the national economy losses to the tune of 451 billion rupees. Agriculture minister criticizing federal government said that this important national issue facing inattention and warned that locust attacks could push the country into another crisis.The losses to the agriculture sector in country would create drought and food shortage, he warned.