ADDIS ABEBA – East African economic bloc said on Saturday locust infestation may pose “a very high risk’ for crops and rangelands in Ethiopia.
At this stage, the locusts have been reported to show low reproduction, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said in a statement.
But this may change at the end of this month with the start of the expected rainfall season first in the northern parts of Eastern Africa and end of March in central regions.
The statment said a high number of locusts are more likely to mature and lay eggs during Ethiopia’s belg season which will start in mid February.
They could pose “at high risk” for farms during the season, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said in a statement.
The bloc also said the infestation may also create a problem in northern Somalia’s farm and grazing lands as the swarms move in search of suitable breeding areas.
In Kenya, some central, eastern, and northeastern areas are currently in the short crop season, it added.
The locust swarms have already been reported 26 Zones of in northern and central Ethiopia as well as in 17 counties of north-eastern, eastern, and coastal regions of Kenya and 9 regions of Somalia.