ADDIS ABEBA – The government of Ethiopia is set to purchase five airplanes that will support its fight against desert locusts.
The move came a month after the United Nations said new swarms of desert locusts are threatening the livelihoods of millions of people in East Africa.
It also urged countries in the region not to waive in their effort to prevent despite a year of control efforts.
Increasing the number of aerial sprayers is crucial to effectively prevent the swarm that is currently posing threats in some parts of Somali regional state, Mandefro Nigussie, State Minister of Agriculture, told state-run The Ethiopian Herald newspaper.
The government is under process to buy five airplanes of which two are surveyors and the remaining three are sprayers.
The total cost for the plane is $10 million and the county has secured the finance, he added.
France and Israel are among the seven countries that are participating in the bidding process, he said, adding the purchase will be completed this Ethiopian fiscal year.