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Reducing locust outbreaks in Caucasus and Central Asia to boost food security and livelihoods


Locusts and grasshoppers are a serious threat to agriculture, including pastures and rangelands, in Caucasus and Central Asia, with an area of more than 25 million hectares concerned. During outbreaks, the three main locust pests, the Italian Locust, the Moroccan Locust and the Migratory Locust, attack all kinds of crops and plants and jeopardize food security and livelihoods: putting at least 20 million people at risk.

The most affected populations are living in rural areas, where human health and the environment can suffer from negative impacts of locust control operations using conventional pesticides. Locusts are migrant pests, able to fly up to 100 km per day and settle in new areas. Both in Caucasus and Central Asia, national borders are situated on locust traditional habitats and breeding areas. This means that locusts frequently cross territorial boundaries. To reduce the occurrence and intensity of locust outbreaks in Caucasus and Central Asia, FAO has been implementing since 2011 a regional “Programme to improve national and regional locust management in Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA)”.

The information sheet describes the results achieved by the ‘Programme to improve national and regional locust management in Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA)’ established in 2011. The Programme is based on the key concepts of the locust preventive control strategy consisting of monitoring locust habitats. Early to detection of changes in number, density, behaviour and appearance within the locust populations leads to reduced damage on crops and rangelands, reduced negative impact on human health and environment due to less use of chemicals and reduced cost.

The information sheet also describes the way forward to the Programme, based on a common vision, objectives, expected results and envisaged activities for the coming five years.

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