BY MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE
The Ministry of Agriculture called on the public and all government institutions to conduct consistent follow-up and immediately report to concerned authorities in case of detecting locust invasion.
Desert locusts, and Army worms have been the main causes of the regional and general problems of the people of the Eastern Africa and such incidents have been leading to frequent occurrences of hunger and mass deaths.
What has so far been carried out in controlling and preventing Desert Locust and other infestation has been commendable. However, the prevention mechanism need to be further reinforced for the nature of the locust or other sorts of infestation have a fluctuating nature.
According to report, locust swarm has been detected in some East African countries and alarming damage is being inflicted and that strong surveillance is required in order to take timely response in case of detecting the invasion in the country.
According to information from the World Food Organization the current locust invasion in East Africa is the worst from that observed over the past quarter century.
The Migratory Pests Control Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture said that Desert Locust control operation is still underway in the Northern Red Sea Region of the country. According to the information from the unit, so far more than 32,000 hectares of land infested with desert locust is treated in Northern Red Sea Region starting from November 2019. The control operations are being conducted from five base stations namely; Marsa Gulbub, Sheeb, Wekiro, Girat (Emahmime) and Foro.
When it comes to crop situation, crop harvesting is underway in Sheeb, Afabet and Wekiro and; Crops in Emberemi and Foro are at their maturity stage. However, Karora and Emahmime crops are still from knee-height to flowering stages.
Based on the reports from the region, since ecological conditions are favorable for locust breeding more infestation is expected. In addition, a number of locust swarms are still coming from different directions of neighboring countries to the Northern as well as to the Southern Red-sea regions.
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It is to be noted that huge swarms appeared in the Southern Region from 13th – 16th November, 2019 in the Subzones of Tsorona, Segeneyti, Mai-Ayni and in a very limited size in other Subzones. Other new swarms and some swarms that flew from the Southern Region also arrived in the Northern Res Sea Region from 19th – 22nd November, 2019 in the Sub zones of Gindae, Massawa and Foro. Eritrea, in both the regions, mobilized the general public and the military under the coordination of the Ministry of Agriculture and the regional administration offices to combat the huge locust swarms. At that time, as a result of the extraordinary commitment, Eritrea saved its crops and range lands with almost no or insignificant damage.
According to Mr. Tedros Sium, Head of Migratory Pests Control Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture, there is still a probability of locust swarm coming from our neighboring countries and even across the Red sea. For this reason, the government of Eritrea is closely surveying and monitoring the potential infestation areas. It is to be noted that Eritrea is one of the frontline countries for desert locust breeding. The country has two breeding areas of desert locusts. The winter breeding area is located along the coast of the Red Sea and the summer breeding area covers some parts of the western lowlands.