A desert locust control technician undertaking control activities. ©FAO

FAO and World Bank continue support to Desert Locust surveillance and control operations in Yemen


A renewed Desert Locust control campaign has been launched in the Yemeni governorates of Lahj, Abyan and Shabwah, as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Bank continues their partnership to support Yemeni authorities in the fight against the Desert Locust

Intensified control efforts to defend against the locust, widely acknowledged as the world's most dangerous migratory pest, come after increased breeding activity was observed in the targeted areas. This is due to favourable breeding conditions triggered by heavy rains and floods in July and August, providing ideal ecological conditions for the locusts to multiply and spread rapidly. Over 30 Desert Locust control field officers and technicians have been equipped and deployed to infested areas throughout the three governorates in a bid to contain the spread of the pest, which if not urgently addressed, can cause substantial damages to pasture and crops across the country, threatening the food security of agriculture-based communities that are already on the brink.

FAO Representative in Yemen, Dr Hussein Gadain, stressed the need for continued, concerted efforts to confront the spread of the locust, emphasizing its potentially devastating effects on food security in an already fragile context. "A single swarm can duplicate 16-20 times in less than three months if it is not controlled. Coordinating early intervention and early control actions such as these therefore saves time, effort and costs, and reduces the chance of Desert Locust infestations spreading to other regions", he added. 

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