Situation Update: Locust Crisis in Madagascar - 30 June 2016

Situation Update: Locust Crisis in Madagascar - 30 June 2016
Jun 2016

Locust situation

From the end of the first dekad of May 2016, the dry and cool season gradually set in throughout the Great Island, causing the vegetation to dry out, thus leading to less favorable conditions for the Malagasy Migratory Locust, which may subsequently form new groups. During May, groups of fledglings and some small swarms of the Malagasy Migratory Locust, of different size and density, were observed in Sakaraha, Manja and Ihosy areas (Outbreak Area) and, from early June, in Miandrivazo and Mandoto areas (Invasion Area). The Invasion Area of central Madagascar (Miandrivazo‒Mandoto) is again slightly infested. The groups detected in the Outbreak Area were completely treated, while treatments are still ongoing in the Invasion Area against groups that had escaped from the Outbreak Area. Scattered hoppers and adults, highly heterogeneous in development and phase, were also detected in the Bekily‒Fotadrevo peneplain and the Ambovombe area (Outbreak Area) in May. Any population whose density was close to the gregarization threshold was treated. In June, no similar scattered populations were observed.

Response

Implementation of the 3rd anti-locust campaign (September 2015 – June 2016). On 11-30 May 2016, the mobile aerial base operated from successive sites of the Outbreak Area of the Malagasy Migratory Locust (Manja, Morondava, Befandriana-South, Toliara and Ihosy) to control groups of fledglings of the 3rd generation of the rainy season. From 31 May 2016, the base moved to Miandrivazo, in the Invasion Area, to treat groups and small swarms of fledglings that had escaped from the Outbreak Area. From 11 May to 30 June 2016, locust populations have been controlled over an area of 29 325 ha, bringing the total of treated and protected areas to 467 333 ha since the beginning of the 2015/16 locust campaign. From 17 May to 29 June 2016, the supervision and coordination of the field activities were ensured by the Campaign Coordinator with the support of the Deputy Campaign Coordinator, who will continue to coordinate survey and control operations until the end of July 2016. Indeed, given the current locust situation, the aerial base will continue to operate until 10 July 2016 to carry out helicopter survey and control operations in the Outbreak and Invasion Areas and treat the remaining swarms of the 3rd generation; the activities of the two mixed ground teams will continue until 31 July 2016.

The 56 000 liters of conventional pesticide given by Morocco through the triangulation process were received in Toliara on 2 June 2016. From 25 May to 18 June 2016, an international locust consultant was on duty travel to Madagascar to evaluate the efficiency of the 2015/16 campaign. Moreover, an evaluation mission of the Three-year Programme, coordinated by the FAO Office of Evaluation, took place in Madagascar on 11‒30 June 2016.

Although the operations of the 2015/16 campaign are still ongoing, an end of the-Three-year Programme Workshop was held in Antananarivo on 14‒16 June, with the dual objective of reporting on the Three-year Programme and discussing post-Programme activities and operational start of the preventive control strategy. Technical and financial partners and the FAO coordinating team attended the Workshop, whose opening and closing ceremonies were chaired by the Secretary General of the Ministry at the Presidency in charge of Agriculture and Livestock (MPAE) and the FAO Representative in Madagascar. At the end of the workshop, the Secretary General of MPAE pledged to "implement the preventive control strategy before the next 2016/17 locust campaign".