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Ethiopia: Desert locusts destroy tens of thousands of acres of crops

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Desert locusts are destroying tens of thousands of acres of crops and grazing land in north east Ethiopia in the worst invasion in 25 years, an official has saidThe infestation has spreaded in parts Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and Somali regions and Dire Dawa City Administration, among other areas of the country, the country’s Minister of Agriculture Oumer Hussien said on Saturday in a briefing 

The country is stepping up aerial spraying and implementing other protective measures to curtail the spread of the grasshoppers to other places, Hussien said.

Shortage of spray planes is impeding the fight against the swarms as two planes went down while spraying pesticides on lands affected by the disaster.

The Ministry is screening out farmers who have been affected by the locust swarms in order to support them accordingly, the Minister noted.

The Agriculture Minister called up on the private sector to contribute its share in the fight against the locust swarms that has posed a threat to the food security in the country.

Meanwhile, two pesticide-spraying aircraft have crashed in Ethiopia’s Amhara regional state where the locust hit the worst.

No casualty was reported but the helicopters’ pilots suffered minor injuries.The cause of the accidents are under investigation.



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