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Locust swarms threaten agriculture in Madagascar
Immediate efforts urgently needed before October rains to stave off an anticipated plague

Madagascar is at risk of a significant plague of crop-eating locusts, FAO warned today.

An unknown number of immature swarms of Malagasy Migratory Locust (Locusta migratoria capito) have formed up and moved out of the country's south-western corner, where they are usually contained, and have begun to spread east and north, as far as Maintirano.

The government estimates that 460 000 rural families are potentially at risk.