Locust outbreak in Karoo and Namibia could threaten pasture

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 25 February 2020

South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has confirmed an outbreak of brown locusts (Locustana pardalina) in South Africa’s northwestern Karoo and in Namibia. It says is not linked to the recent unprecedented outbreak of desert locusts in East Africa, in its weekly newsletter.

These insects could cause a threat to grazing land in areas which are already drought-stressed and South African authorities want to intervene before the locusts become airborne. ‘Six pesticides used for locust control are available in emergency volumes’ in the area, according to a report by MoneyWeb. These will hopefully be applied just after the locusts hatch or while they are still at the hopper stage.

Farmers in the affected area are encouraged to alert CropLifeSA via WhatsApp on 082 446 8946, as well as local agricultural departments in De Aar and Upington.

In unrelated outbreaks in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia swarms of locusts have been decimating crops and grazing land. Kenya has upped its aerial spraying and the United Nations has appealed for funds urgently to help combat the spread of locusts.

According to the United Nations News, ‘An average swarm, which contains up to 40 million insects, can travel up to 150 km in a single day and can devour enough food to feed 34 million people within that time.’ The Un has appealed for urgent action.

An appeal for $76 million to control the locusts’ spread was launched by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently but so far only $20 million has been received; half of which came from a UN emergency fund.

‘Without rapid action, we will be facing a rapidly expanding humanitarian crisis. The Desert Locust swarms are growing exponentially’, FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu said in a video message.

Image: Wikipedia Commons

You may also like

yoast-primary - 1004431
tcat - Travel news
tcat_slug - travel-news
tcat2 - Travel news
tcat2_slug - travel-news
tcat_final -