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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

Madagascar’s Minister for Livestock: Locust plague affects those suffering chronic hunger

Talks with FAO Director General focus on joint efforts in Madagascar

25 March 2015, Rome - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today met with Madagascar’s Minister for Livestock, Anthèlme Ramparany, to discuss the progress in halting the locust plague that since 2012 has spread across Madagascar threatening the country’s main staple food crops and pasture areas.

“We reviewed our ongoing collaboration with FAO, the European Union and the World Bank against the locust plague that affects particularly the south of Madagascar where there is chronic hunger,” the Minister said in remarks made after the meeting.

As FAO warned in January 2015, the battle against an ongoing plague of locusts risks being lost as funds to continue operations to subdue widespread infestations of the crop-hungry insects run out. It is a situation that poses a serious challenge to the food security of some 13 million people.

Failure to carry through the joint 2013-16 FAO/government anti-locust programme would nullify efforts that to date have mobilized more than $28.8 million to fight the plague and could trigger a food-security crisis in a vast area of the country.

FAO has called for some $10.6 million needed to complete the locust programme, including monitoring and spraying operations. These have to be carried out through the end of the rainy season in May 2015.