FAO: locust outbreak could threaten crops in Sudan and neighboring countries
Desert locust outbreaks in Sudan, Mauritania and Niger may locally threaten crops, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) said Monday, October 20, 2003, issuing an alert to inform affected governments and the international donor community.
In northeastern Sudan, where five aircraft are on standby, mature adult locust swarms have been seen along the Atbara River, some of which were laying eggs.
"The number of locusts is increasing rapidly. They are beginning to concentrate themselves into groups characteristic of an outbreak," FAO's Locust Group said, "We need to address the problem now, before the situation deteriorates."
Desert locusts are normally solitary, scattered insects but when climatic conditions are favorable, for example after good rains and a mild temperature, they can rapidly increase in number. As the rainy season ends and green areas shrink locusts tend to group together in the few remaining green vegetation and start to change appearance and begin behaving as a group.
"If the situation worsens this migratory pest may move northwards across northern Mauritania into Morocco, from Sudan towards the Red Sea and from Mali and Niger into Southern Algeria," the Locust Group said. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)