Ministry deploying 40 teams to fight locusts

Ministry deploying 40 teams to fight locusts
Updated 26 August 2014

Ministry deploying 40 teams to fight locusts

Ministry deploying 40 teams to fight locusts

The Agriculture Ministry will deploy 40 teams to fight locusts and increase cooperation with international organizations on the matter, a ministry official said during a meeting held to discuss anti-locust mechanisms in Jeddah.
“The ministry aims to implement a pre-emptive plan to stop these grasshoppers from entering the Kingdom,” said Khalid Al-Faheed, the ministry’s secretary-general for agricultural affairs.
“Provinces that are at risk for these attacks will be included in the action plan, which will pre-empt locust movement in Tabuk, Hail, Al-Baha, Asir, Makkah, Jazan and Najran in a bid to reduce losses incurred by farmers and beekeepers.”
Several factors affect the quantity and movement of locusts, including wind speed, direction and strength, rainfall and the existence of locusts in areas close to the Kingdom.
“There are differences in opinion on ways to combat locusts,” he said.
“Beekeepers are usually warned before we spray areas via text messages. The ministry announces spraying schedules well beforehand, but some beekeepers are late in moving their beehives.”
“The ministry cannot wait for them because public interest comes first,” he said.
Locusts reached Hail last year, but the spread was curbed through spraying operations.
There were huge amounts of locusts last year due to certain factors, such as the large numbers of locusts in each herd, in addition to weather conditions, such as wind and heavy rain.
“The locust season this year starts at the end of September and this is why we have increased the number of anti-locust patrols,” he said.