FAO detects new desert locust swarms in Ethiopia

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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations on Wednesday disclosed it has detected new desert locust swarms in Ethiopia.

In its latest situation update report, FAO said new immature desert locust swarms have been detected in southern areas of Ethiopia’s Rift Valley region.

FAO further said the new desert locust swarms are a threat on top of immature desert locust swarms that are persisting in large parts of Ethiopia’s Oromia and Southern regional states.

“In the past few days, light to moderate rains fell in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia that could be sufficient to allow the swarms present in both countries to mature and eventually lay eggs, which would give rise to another generation of breeding,” FAO warned.

FAO, however, said the scale of the spring desert locust swarm breeding is expected to be curtailed because of ongoing operations to control the number of the swarms and the likelihood of spring rains starting March.

Since June 2019, Ethiopia has been suffering from the worst desert locust invasion in about 25 years, affecting major crop-producing parts of the country.

In January, the Ethiopian government announced it had dispatched airplanes and helicopters in its fight against desert locust invasion. The aircraft are being used to assess the extent of desert locust invasion as well as to spray chemicals on desert locust affected areas.

The desert locust, which is considered as the “most dangerous of the nearly one dozen species of locusts,” is a major food security peril in desert areas across 20 countries, stretching from west Africa all the way to India, covering nearly 16 million square km, according to the United Nations. Enditem

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