In accordance with a recommendation made at its last session, the FAO Commission for Control the Desert Locust in the Central Region organized a regional training course on Desert Locust survey. The course venue and time were chosen based on where and when locusts were present and breeding. The course was designed to be practical and field oriented. Traditional lectures were not given; instead, trainees actively participated in field and classroom exercises. A high ratio of trainers to trainees (1:3) insured that the latter received individual attention and nobody lost interest. The course was held in Arabic although training material were available in both English and Arabic. Pre- and post-evaluations indicated that all trainees improved upon their knowledge and abilities during the course.
- Yemen was chosen as the venue since Desert Locust infestations were present on the Red Sea coastal plains and there was a possibility that adults were in the process of breeding. Locusts often breed on the coastal plains of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and the interior deserts of Yemen during the winter and spring, or at any other time if rain occurs.
- The first day of the course was held in the capital, Sana'a, which is located at an elevation of 2500 m and is surrounded by barren mountains. The remaining days took place on the Red Sea coast at Hodediah and on the nearyby plains where it was hot, dusty and humid.
- 13 trainees participated from 9 countries: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen. They were from national locust or plant protection units; they varied in age from their late 20s to mid 50s.
- 4 trainers, one each from Mauritania, Morocco, Oman and Yemen. These individuals are not only the head of their national locust programme but they actively undertaken survey and control operations and they have teaching capabilities; they varied in age from their mid 30s to mid 40s.
- An expert on Desert Locust Survey & Forecasting from FAO HQ supervised the course. The Secretariate of the FAO Central Region Commission was present.