Desert locusts to migrate out of Kenya says Food and Agriculture Organization FAO

Desert locusts to migrate out of Kenya says Food and Agriculture Organization FAO

Mkulima today desert locusts to migrate out of Kenya says Food and Agriculture Organization FAO. Mkulima today, desert locusts have created havoc in many parts of the country and other neighboring nations.

Many farmers have felt the pinch as the locust fly past their green fields.

Today Kenyans can breathe a sigh of relief as the destructive desert locusts are set to migrate from the green fields of the country.

The food and agriculture organization, FAO a body of the United Nations, UN in its latest update states that the dessert locusts are expected to migrate northwards to the summer breeding areas in Sudan and Ethiopia.

Breeding

Dessert locusts have in the recent months invaded over half the counties in Kenya with numerous hopper bands affecting 173,000 acres of land and an estimated 1,3 million people.

FAO representatives say the bulk of the swarm formation is likely to occur during the next few days followed by a decline as per their data.

They also added that before migration, the swarms will remain for a short period, but never specified the duration.

During this time there will be a considerable threat to crops and vegetation in the counties of Turkana and Marsabit.

The statement from FAO further said that thereafter, the swarms of locusts are expected to migrate northwards to their summer breeding areas in Sudan and Ethiopia where they will mature quickly and lay eggs.

Some of the swarms will take about seven days to cross South Sudan, if only they needed immigration papers, to reach South Kordofan and South Darfur while other swarms will move north and finally settle at East and Northern parts of Ethiopia.

Migration

While the swarms in Northern Somalia can migrate across the vast Indian Ocean to summer breeding areas along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border.

Though data highly suggest the swarms are expected to migrate, experts said an increase in the number of second-generation immature swarms continues to form in the Northwest of the country.

Meanwhile, in Sudan, some rains have fallen so far in South Darfur and South Kordofan and no locusts are present for the time being except for isolated adults in the Nile Valley.

The expert estimate is that if the rains are not sufficient, then the invading swarms are likely to continue to eastern Chad and migrate westwards across the Sahel of West Africa.

This threat should decline progressively during the next few weeks.

The desert locust infestation could be coming under control now but it has left a trail of destruction, particularly worsening food insecurity in the parts of the country that were hard hit by the invasion.

As per the experts from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Kenya has beaten the locust upsurge at least for now.

They however warned that more people in Kenya and the East African region will be food insecure due to the damages caused by the desert locusts on food and pastures.

The UN agency for food and agriculture, FAO warns that the region is still at the risk of upsurge occurring later in the year, especially with more swarms expected to come in the country from the Middle East.

Progress

We must say that significant progress has been made in fighting the desert locusts in the region at large.

Kenya is one of the countries through the ministry of agriculture under CS Peter Munya that has posed major milestones in the fight against the desert locusts.

The number of counties infested by the locusts has gone down to two from the initial high of 29. This was more than half the country that was infested at the beginning of this year.

In the coming days that will drop to one county.

It is expected that within the next three weeks Kenya should be free of large-scale infestation altogether.

This will be a great success but there is still a great threat of possible re-infestation towards the end of the year.

Coordination

Mkulima today desert locusts to migrate out of Kenya says Food and Agriculture Organization FAO. All of this will need continued surveillance and better coordination.

Coordination on the control of locusts was a joined effort by FAO, its other partners, and other East African nations in building the capacity to fight locusts.

Over the last six months, different mechanisms including overhead spraying have killed about 500 billion locusts.

The locust’s invasion has resulted in a major threat to food security across East Africa as well as parts of the Middle East.

It has however been overshadowed by the effects of Covid – 19 with the government committing huge resources to contain its spread.

The dessert locust invasion poses a great threat to food to food security after ravaging farms and pastures across the country.

FAO also says that they are still assessing the situation and the damages but have noticed abnormal poor livestock conditions in the areas where dessert locust was spotted.

This indicates that grazing was limited during this period despite the good rains experienced.

In the large Turkana county, FAO noticed sorghum crops with around 14 to 20 percent damage or reduction of the farm yields.

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