Desert locust swarms threaten Morocco's fertile valleys
Swarms of desert locusts are threatening Morocco's
most fertile crop areas prompting the authorities to carry
out extensive ground and aerial spraying to contain them.
The swarms arrived in the Souss Valley near Agadir in
early December from further south. During the last half of
the month, nearly 32 000 ha were sprayed. Survey and control
teams currently operating in affected areas have now been
reinforced by additional teams.
So far, there is no indication that swarms have moved
further east along the southern side of the Atlas Mountains
into Algeria. However, according to the latest FAO Desert
Locust Bulletin (No. 220), there is still a moderate
risk of this occurring if winds linked with low pressure
systems over the Mediterranean prevail.
Elsewhere in North-West Africa, a few small swarms and
insignificant numbers of adults are persisting in the remote
desert areas of northern Mauritania. Control teams treated
those swarms that could be located and the situation is
being closely monitored.
In the Red Sea Trench, surveys are in progress along the
western and eastern coastal plains that received heavy
rainfall in November. Low numbers of adults have been
detected in Egypt near the border with Sudan, on the
southern coastal plains of Eritrea and in Saudi Arabia near
Mecca. However, the infestations were not large enough to
warrant control in any of these countries. Breeding is
expected to continue during January.
Meanwhile, there were no significant locust infestations
reported in South-West Asia.
13 January 1997