FAO in Lao People's Democratic Republic

Mission dispatched to assess locust outbreak


Vientiane.- At the request of the Government, FAO and WFP have joined the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in an assessment of a locust outbreak that has been affecting Luang Prabang and Huaphanh provinces since April.

FAO and WFP technical experts have joined teams led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, to assess the damage of an outbreak of Yellow Spined Bamboo Locust (Ceracris kiangsu) in Luang Prabang and Huapanh provinces in the north-east of Lao PDR.

According to a MAF technical team coordinated by the Plant Protection Centre of the Department of Agriculture (DOA), the locust has so far affected 65 villages in six districts.  Villages in Phonthong and Viengkham Districts in Luang Prabang province and Sorn, XamNeua, Houameung, Hiam Districts in Huaphan province, have reported the attacks of the grasshoppers to rice, maize, broom grass, and banana crops.

The government reported that despite immediate actions to control the pest, the outbreak in Luang Prabang has re-established itself and is apparently continuing to spread.

MAF has requested the assistance of FAO and WFP to contribute with technical expertise for possible control methods for the Locust, as well as assessments on the extent of crop damage for each crop affected to define possible impacts on food security.

This locust species normally emerges in April as it hatches from the previous year's eggs laid in the ground, it then feeds and grows for up to 4 months, before developing wings as it reaches adulthood. The adults mate, lay their eggs in August and then die.