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Desert locust preventive control strategy in the Near East and Horn of Africa










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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Desert locust preventive control strategy in the Central Region Commission 2024
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    The desert locust Schistocerca gregaria (DL) is one of the most devastating pests in agriculture. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the central region area (of the Red Sea and Horn of Africa) is considered the source of many DL outbreaks. The Horn of Africa and Arab peninsula recently faced the worst DL crisis in over 25 years, and the most serious in 70 years for Kenya. The occurrence of outbreaks and upsurges represents a serious threat to the food security and livelihoods of the region. It is imperative to recognize the gravity of such situations and take necessary measures to mitigate their impact. Failure to do so could have severe consequences, including hunger, malnutrition, and economic instability. Thus, it is crucial to prioritize the prevention and control of these outbreaks to safeguard the well-being of individuals and the prosperity of the region.Established in 1967, the Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Central Region (CRC) plays a key role in enhancing Member Countries’ early preparedness and response capabilities with regard to DL and to address any gaps between calm situations and emergency situations, so that emergencies can be resolved efficiently and effectively.
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    Booklet
    Technical guidance on desert locust – Early warning system and sustainable management of transboundary pests, with special reference to desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria [Forskål]) in South Asia 2022
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    Although locusts are a type of grasshopper, they differ physiologically and in their behaviour. When environmental conditions allow, locusts multiply rapidly so that billions of them can aggregate and migrate vast distances devouring every growing green thing in their path. Plagues of locusts have occured for a long time and are even referenced in the Old Testament of the Bible. The magnitude of damage and crop loss that they can cause is enormous and beyond imagination. They have been the cause of starvation across continents in the past. The desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Forskål) is the most widespread and destructive of all locust species. When they invade they can cover about 30 million square kilometres and can include all or parts of 64 countries in the northwest and east of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and central Asia, including Afghanistan, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan, among others.
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    Booklet
    Desert locust crisis | Appeal for rapid response and anticipatory action in the Greater Horn of Africa
    January–December 2020 (Revised version)
    2020
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    The worst desert locust outbreak in decades is underway in the Greater Horn of Africa, where tens of thousands of hectares of cropland and pasture have been damaged in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania, with potentially severe consequences for agriculture-based livelihoods in contexts where food security is already fragile. Highly mobile and capable of stripping an area’s vegetation, even a very small locust swarm can eat the same amount of food in one day as about 35 000 people. Intensive ground and aerial control operations are urgently needed (in addition to diligent surveillance) in order to detect and reduce locust populations, prevent more swarms from forming and avoid the spread to more countries. If swarms continue unhindered, this will have serious implications on crop production in the upcoming main season across the entire region. Efforts must also be made to protect the livelihoods of farmers and livestock holders – ensuring they have the inputs they need to restart production and have access to much-needed cash to meet their immediate food needs. FAO urgently requires USD 138 million to support rapid control actions and take measures to prevent a deterioration in the food security situation and safeguard livelihoods.

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