Desert Locust ‘Swarms No More Threats’

ADDIS ABEBA – The desert locust which invaded parts of Ethiopia are no more threats to crops as their spread has diminished due to aerial and ground control operations, according to Ministry of Agriculture.

Agriculture State Minister, Mandefro Negusse said the locusts that infested five regions and one city administration are now confined to one region.

“We only have desert locusts in Somali Region, despite some dispersed locusts that escaped from the control operations,” he told state-run Ethiopian news agency.

Authorities have increased the number of aircraft and vehicles deployed in the control operations against the locusts across the country.

“We have now seven aircraft sprayers, three navigation helicopters, and 116 vehicles that boosted our capacity to fight any current and possible future locust invasion,” Mandefro said.

The locust will no more be a threat to agricultural crops in Ethiopia because it will now go to naturally favorable areas to breed, according to the state minister.

“It will not create a problem on crops in Ethiopia for now,” the state minister noted, adding that “The dispersed locusts in Tigray region will go to the coast of the Red Sea for breeding; and the other swarms of locusts dispersed in Afar and central parts of the country will go to the coasts of Somalia.”

However, the state minister pointed out that it will return back in Belg season.

“We are, therefore, establishing control operation bases in many parts of the country,” he said, in collaboration with FAO, Desert Locust Control Organization for Eastern Africa (DLCO-EA) and the World Bank.