FELLOWSHIPS ON LOCUST ISSUES IN CAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA
20 January to 3 April 2015
Locusts and grasshoppers are serious threat for agriculture in Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA). Three locust pests, the Italian (CIT), the Moroccan (DMA) and the Migratory (LMI) locusts, jeopardize food security and livelihood in both regions as well as in adjacent areas of northern Afghanistan and southern Russian Federation. Over 25 million hectares of cultivated areas are potentially at risk.
Locusts have a high capacity to multiply, form groups, migrate over relatively large distances (they can fly up to 100 km per day) and settle and breed in various habitats. These capacities enhance their pest status at regional level. Locust are becoming even more dangerous in the context of exceptional weather events associated to climate change, due to their exceptional capacity to take advantage of new situations; as an indicator, locust situation has deteriorated with recurrent droughts since the beginning of the 21st century.
Considering locust transboundary nature and countries' political borders in Caucasus and Central Asia, any sustainable solution against these agricultural pests can only result from well-coordinated prevention relying on improved national and regional locust management. This includes adequate preparation by each single country as well as concerted joint efforts.
- 10 countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
- 3 pests: Italian Locust, Moroccan Locust and Asian Migratory Locust.
- 25 million ha of cultivated areas under threat and at least 20 million people at risk, including the most vulnerable rural populations.
- A problem shared at regional level, mainly due to locust transboundary nature and pattern of countries' political borders.
- Response: "Five-year Programme to improve national and regional locust management in Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA)" officially launched in October 2011.
- Objectives: reduce occurrence and intensity of locust outbreaks, in the respect of human health and the environment, and limit threat or damage to crops and rangelands and thus contribute to safeguarding food security and the livelihood of rural populations in Caucasus and Central Asia.
- Based on key principles of locust preventive strategy: Appropriate monitoring of locust habitats at key periods of their development in order to allow early detection of changes in number, density and behaviour, which results in early warning and early reaction.
- Funding: USAID, Turkey, FAO Regular Programme (RP) and Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP).
- Roadmap for Programme implementation.