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New locust threat in Madagascar
A current buildup of locust populations in southwestern Madagascar could turn into a plague and seriously endanger the livelihoods of 13 million people unless a new campaign is launched to contain the crop-devouring insects, FAO said today. According to latest estimates on the ground some 300 000 ha of locust-infested territory needs to be treated from November 2011 to May 2012 at a cost of $7.6 million.
“We must break the locust population dynamics in order to prevent further developments that could affect the island for years and seriously impact on the livelihoods of two thirds of the population, or 13 million people,” said FAO Locust Officer Annie Monard, who is coordinating anti-locust operations in Madagascar.