Ministry of Agriculture Announces Plans to Fight Desert Locust

By Staff Reporter

MOA-fight-desert-locustOctober 30, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- The Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia has announced plans to fight the infestation of desert locust in some parts of Ethiopia.

The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) issued this during a press statement held on October 28, 2019, at its headquarters in Addis Ababa.

According to MOA statement, the Desert Locust Migrated from Yemen through Djibouti and Somaliland where it entered Ethiopia and settled in the breeding sites in Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Somalia, and Dire Dawa.

Explaining the operation, Sani Redi, who is the state Minster of Agriculture, disclosed that experts are deployed, along with spray planes and vehicles to the locust-hit areas.

“Control operations are required to manage the situation and protect the livelihood of the population in the locust-hit areas. As the primary method of controlling the desert locust infestation, the State Minister said they are using insecticides applied in small concentrated doses by vehicle-mounted and aerial sprayers at ultra-low volume rates of application.”

“The MOA will be utilizing plane chemical spraying and thousands of liters of chemical for controlling purpose,” he added

The state minster has also talked about the continuity of the preventative measures until the operation fully controls the situation.

Sani Redi added that MOA is working with various stakeholders to undertake hopper control measures. However, he also called upon development partners alongside with the community to work together in controlling the invasion.

In this regard, the state Minster has appreciated the effort being done by local communities to tackle the desert locust in their respective places.

“Farmers tried their best by using mechanical means of killing locusts, such as digging trenches and burying hopper bands. They are also trying to scare locust swarms away from their fields by making noise and burning tires. Their effort is welcomed by MOA,” he noted.

“Only Cooperation can fully control desert locust and all stakeholders should join hands to prevent desert locust infestation in the Country,” he added.

It is recalled that the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Desert Locust Control Organization for Eastern Africa have called for the immediate action to control a new Desert Locust infestation before its arrived in the country.

Desert Locust Information Center of FAO also warned countries where and when desert locust infestation will likely breakout in the area.

“Migrating from Yemen, Djibouti, and Somaliland, the desert locust swarm entered the Afar region of Ethiopia. Since these three countries did not take any joint action over the desert locust, Ethiopia was forced to tackle the situation single-handedly,” the report indicates.

Reports indicated that Desert Locust is more unique in that it has the ability to change its behavior, including its appearance, in response to environmental conditions, and transform itself to cross from one continent to another. In addition, it has the ability to travel as fast as the wind - 150 to 300 km per day.

The moist soils due to continued rainfall in the breeding areas created a conducive environment for Desert Locust to multiply. Huge hopper populations are bred and are currently fledging into young adults and making swarms of varying sizes.

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