FAO continues to support Yemen's Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation to control Desert Locust

FAO continues to support Yemen's Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation to control Desert Locust

23/06/2016

As part of its ongoing support for the fight against Desert Locust infestations in Yemen, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Yemeni Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MAI) to confront the spread of Desert Locust through an integrated programme that involves survey and control operations in summer breeding areas of the interior.

The three-month programme is intended to provide the necessary services to reduce the impact of the current Desert Locust outbreak in the summer breeding areas, extend support in emergency situations to reduce potential dangers and protect bees, pastures and livestock. Field teams will undertake ground surveys in the interior breeding areas as well as the Tihama Plains on the Red Sea coast to assess and monitor the situation. Under the programme, the MAI will set up an operations room to oversee the survey and control operations and provide the necessary assistance at any time, including field interventions to control Desert Locust infestations.

Salah Hajj Hassan, FAO Representative in Yemen, stressed the need for concerted efforts to confront the spread of Desert Locust, noting it’s devastating effects on food security. He said "FAO will continue to do everything in its power to help Yemen in its efforts to ease the suffering of farmers and reduce poverty and hunger." He thanked all concerned parties for their cooperation and efforts to avert a potential disaster.

Hajj Hassan stressed that FAO will continue to provide urgent assistance to support MAI's relevant efforts. The current Desert Locust situation is posing a real danger and threatening food security in many parts of Yemen. As expected, numerous adult groups and swarms started to form in several places in the interior of Yemen earlier this month. Some of the swarms have attacked crops. Recently, new infestations of fifth instar hopper bands were discovered about 50 km southeast of Sana'a in Khawlan district.

All efforts are required to increase survey and control operations in Yemen. FAO will continue to monitor the developing situation closely and provide timely early warning.