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Ethiopia warns over potential locust impacts on agriculture

Christian Fernsby |
The Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture on Sunday warned over the potential impact of Desert Locust summer breeding on the country's agricultural production.

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"There is a need to exert more efforts to combat the existing high probability of Desert Locust summer breeding, which spreads to parts of Ethiopia from its neighboring countries," the state-run news agency quoted officials from the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture as saying on Sunday.

According to Alemayehu Birhanu, Public Relations Director at the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, the Desert Locust, which migrated from Somalia and Yemen, has been spotted across different parts of the East African country, mainly in parts of Ethiopia's six major regional states.

The ministry, which recently received Desert Locust summer breeding caution from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has been collecting data from the ground on the status of Desert Locust in parts of the country, it was noted.

Birhanu, however, stressed that the Desert Locust that migrated from neighboring countries and spotted across different parts of Ethiopia "doesn't pose a serious threat to Ethiopia's agricultural production."

"Given the current heavy rains in areas where the Desert Locust spotted, there is a great need to implement measures to tackle the possible impact of on agricultural production," he added.

Last week, FAO had warned over the danger of Desert Locust summer breeding that "can pose a serious threat to agricultural production areas of Yemen, Sudan, Eritrea and parts of Ethiopia and northern Somalia during the next three months."

"This could result in potentially adverse impacts on the agricultural seasonal yields and local economies affecting food security and livelihoods of the populations in the countries concerned," FAO said in a statement.

It also stressed that "urgent Desert Locust control operations are required to safeguard crops and mitigate the risk of infestation in Yemen, as well as to prevent locust swarms from invading the neighboring countries."

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