Duration: 00:04:49; Aspect Ratio: 1.366:1; Hue: 59.044; Saturation: 0.002; Lightness: 0.414; Volume: 0.263; Cuts per Minute: 18.628; Words per Minute: 76.790
Summary: Date (Afghan Calendar): 1341
Shows attempts to control infestation of locusts in southern Afghanistan, including beating of fields and spraying pesticide. Second half shows the Sarandoy (girl scouts) putting flowers on the tomb of Nadir Shah and other activities.
Footage Source: Afghan Films 35mm positive
Original Reel No.: positive reel #56 NB this is split into two videos in DB
Translated by Rajni Prakash
Incidents and developments of supreme importance.
Photographer: Sona Talwar, Samad Asefi
Sonaram Talwar was a cameraman from FTII who joined Afghan Films. A lot of the archival footage has been filmed by Talwar himself between 1968 and 1980.
It is a common pastime in Afghanistan to blame 'the neighbours' for evils small and large. For example, in this early newsreel, an infestation of locusts in the fields of southern Afghanistan is blamed on winds blowing the pests north from Pakistan. Two contrasting solutions are displayed in the film: one traditional, the beating of the fields by farmers with sticks, brooms, rakes and their own feet; and one modern, the spraying of pesticide from crop-dusting planes. No comment is offered as to which method ultimately proved most effective, though the first certainly looks more fun than the second.
In summer 1341 (1962), waves of Moroccan locusts coming from the neighboring countries, entered Afghanistan and attacked the Southern and the Western provinces of the country.
The people of Herat started to fight the locust attack under the supervision of specialists from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Friendly countries, America and the Soviet Union, dispatched their airplanes, cars and specialists to Kandahar and Herat. The pictures show some of the American specialists who assisted Afghan farmers in fighting locusts in Kandahar. They continued their efforts till the last stage of the work. The attacking locusts laid eggs in the vast territories of Kandahar and Herat as a result of which a new generation of locusts attacked the farms and aforementioned territories.
Foreign specialists fighting locusts were based around the city of Herat and initiated their strategy for fighting locusts in tandem with the Ministry of Agriculture.
Airplanes made the fight against locusts more effective and taught Afghan farmers new ways in agricultural pest control.
Airplanes dedicated to fighting locusts in Herat used the powder based chemical pesticides, while in Kandahar they utilized the liquid chemicals against locusts. This means that in this extensive fight against locust attacks, two different system have been utilized.
Hatching eggs, the baby locusts have spread throughout wide fields and farms. Waves of locusts have spread across one fourth of Afghanistan in a short time.
Before the locusts could harm the agricultural produce of the country, the fight against them from air and land has become so intense and widespread that the damage were minimized in an unexpected fashion.
Locust clusters were followed and surrounded by people and teams specialized in fighting them at every step, including flat lands and hilly areas. As a result, the spread of locust attacks to the other regions of the country was controlled to a large extent.
The struggle of the people and farmers of Afghanistan which took place in the second half of summer 1341 (1962) proved that with the help of modern national and international equipment, not only is it possible to control large scale agricultural disasters, but it is also eminently and easily doable. In this fight, our people rendered a great, unforgettable service towards national agriculture.