Agriculture Ministry sets up locust control plan

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Wed, 20 Sep 2017 - 06:03 GMT

Locusts - Reuters

Locusts - Reuters

CAIRO – 20 September 2017: the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation started a pre-emptive plan in border areas to control the anticipated swarms of desert locusts.

The plan is being carried out in coordination with the ministries of health, interior, environment and international cooperation.

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Locusts - Reuters

The Agriculture Ministry will organize traffic campaigns on the southern and western desert areas and along Sudan’s border to carry out environmental surveys and early detection as precautionary measures.

Parallel to these campaigns, the ministry started the processing of 54 main locust-control bases, in preparation for any emergent locust attack on Egyptian winter crops starting September until April, when locusts are most active.

"In response to the instructions of Dr. Abdel Moneim; Minister of Agriculture, the Central Administration for the Control of Agricultural Pests was charged to organize traffic campaigns on the eastern and western southern borders down to the Sudanese Desert and conduct an environmental survey as a precautionary measure starting this September," said Abbas El-Shennawy, head of the agricultural services sector at the Ministry of Agriculture in a statement.

Swarms of locusts attack cultivated areas and threaten Egyptian crops during winter. A similar situation took place in 2004, when locust swarms attacked 15 governorates in Egypt.

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Locusts - Reuters

According to a report issued by the Land Centre for Human Rights, a local NGO concerned with agricultural issues, in 2004, 38 percent of the nation’s crops were damaged due to locust swarms. In 2007 and 2011, there were further waves of locust attacks on Egypt’s agricultural lands, but on these occasions the insects departed without causing major damage.

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