FAO Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in South-West Asia (SWAC)


Desert Locust population dynamics

Afghanistan is not considered a front-line country for Desert Locust. In other words, Desert Locusts are normally not present in the country. Instead, they can invade the southern provinces of Helmand, Kandahar and Nimroz usually from adjacent areas Kharan, Dalbandin and Nushki in Baluchistan, western Pakistan during late spring. This only occurs when there are important infestations present in western Pakistan that arise from local spring breeding. In this case, there is a risk that adults could move into southern Afghanistan. The scale of the movement depends on the size and distribution of the source populations in Pakistan. If large infestations are present that contain gregarious locusts (hopper bands and adults swarms), then small swarms can invade Afghanistan. If infestations are smaller and contain only solitarious adults or groups of adults, then lower numbers of similar adults can move into southern Afghanistan. Therefore, it is critical that Afghanistan constantly monitors survey and control efforts in Pakistan and, to a lesser extent, in Iran and India. FAO DLIS will warn Afghanistan in case there is a chance of locusts moving into the country.

National Locust Programme

The Plant Protection and Quarantine Department (PPQD) at the Ministry of Agriculture in Kabul is responsible for Desert Locust survey and control operations in Afghanistan. Since it is not a front-line country, Desert Locust surveys are not carried out in Afghanistan. Instead, PPQD relies on information from neighbouring countries and advise and warnings from FAO to determine when to deploy survey and control teams.

National Flag

Area: 652,090 km2

Pop: 21,968,000

Languages: Pashtu, Dari

Religion: Muslim

Afghanistan map


Amanuddin Haidari

Plant Protection and Quarantine Department (PPQD), Kabul

+93 707899870