To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

June 22, 2011

UN appeals for funds to battle locusts in Madagascar

A build-up of locust populations in south-western Madagascar could turn into a plague and seriously endanger the livelihoods of 13 million people unless a new campaign is launched to contain the crop-devouring insects, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned.

The agency called for a $7.3 million fund to treat 300,000 hectares of locust-infested territory from this November to May next year.

"We must break the locust population dynamics in order to prevent further developments that could affect the island for years and seriously impact on the livelihoods of two thirds of the population, or 13 million people," said FAO's Annie Monard, who is coordinating anti-locust operations in Madagascar. "Preventive control is the best and most cost-effective way of dealing with locusts in a sustainable manner."

Locusts do not always stay in swarms. In south-western Madagascar they typically live on their own as individuals. But if their population density passes the tipping point, their body chemistry changes and they undergo a behavioural, ecological and physiological transformation.

After these changes, individual locusts begin to concentrate and act as a synchronized group of hopper bands, or wingless locusts, or as adult swarms, moving out en masse to find new food sources. Changes in their bodies allow them to fly over greater distances, up to 100 kilometres a day, as well as making them able to digest a wider range of vegetation and crops.

An adult locust can consume its own weight - roughly two grams - in fresh food daily. A very small part of an average swarm eats the same amount of food in one day as about 2,500 people, FAO said.


Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings expo exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture hydroponics ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maiz maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by

Back to TOP