Locusts invade Madagascar

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Antananarivo – A locust plague arrived in Madagascar’s capital on Wednesday after damaging the South part of the country.

Moving from the South to the North, the cloud of locust blackened the sky of the southern part of Madagascar’s capital on Wednesday afternoon.

Some technicians in the Ministry of Agriculture said that the locust plague occupied 25 hectares of areas and pesticides have  been spread on 17 hectares.

The technicians said these locusts would not go far because pesticides were enough to kill them.

According to data from the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation which sponsored the fight against locust plague in Madagascar, at least three successive locust campaigns had been held recently.

A total cost of 43.9 million dollars is required to treat more than two million hectares from September 2013 to September 2016.

The funding required for campaigns in 2014, 2015 and 2016 is about 17.7 million dollars.

If all funds were not available in time, the invasion could severely affect food security, nutrition and livelihood of the Malagasy population, the FAO said.

Since April 2012, Madagascar is facing locust invasion of Malagasy Migratory Locust threatening the livelihood of 13 million people, including the nine million who derive their income from agriculture.

The results of a damage assessment conducted in May 2013 showed that losses due to locust in 2012 and 2013 ranged from 10 to 40 per cent of rice crops in 17 of the 22 regions of Madagascar. (Xinhua/NAN)

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