FAO Global Watch


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

Related links:

NEW! Desert Locust Interactive Map


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