Transboundary Plant Pests and Diseases

Mastering the locust features for sustainable management of the devastating pest


An FAO expert delivered a module on locust morphology and taxonomy to students of the master’s in Acridology at the Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II (IAV) in Agadir, Morocco.

The course aimed to reinforce the knowledge of the first-year master’s students on the morphological features of insects, with a focus on acridids (locusts and grasshoppers) so that they can identify them at different stages of their development. The two-year master's programme will equip the field technicians with skills to implement sustainable preventive measures against locusts.

“The timing was appropriate. The course was offered at the beginning of the master’s programme because it covers the basic acridid taxonomy and morphology lectures and practical exercise,” said the lecturer of the programme, Alexandre Latchininsky.

The students had the opportunity to get familiar with locust rearing facility and studied the extensive acridid collections at the National Anti-Locust Center (CNLA) in Agadir. 

This programme is attended by the first cohort of 15 students from 13 member countries of both regional commissions for controlling Desert Locust in the Central Region (CRC) and in Western Region (CLCPRO), including Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, and United Arab Emirates, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, and Senegal. 

The initiative is a collaboration between FAO and IAV Hassan II to strengthen sustainable locust control and management in invasion and breeding regions.  

The programme will run for four years, and the second cohort will also cover two years, thanks to the unwavering financial support provided by the Regional Commissions (CRC and CLCPRO) and the French Development Agency (AFD). Ends