Locusts breeding threaten food security in north Africa



By Godfrey Olukya   17-5-2013

There are fears that locusts  which are breeding in Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Sudan might invade some North African countries and destroy a lot of crops in the near future.
By so doing, they will threaten food security in the region. However, efforts to destroy them is taking place.
Locusts are hopping insects which multiply into big numbers after breeding mostly in deserts and later fly in huge swarms. They are renown for destroying food crops when they feed on their leaves.
‘As a result of egg-laying in mid-March and low temperatures, hatching occurred from mid-April onwards in the western Negev Desert of Israel and in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt where hoppers are now forming groups and bands in both areas. ‘a report from locust control organization  said.

It went on to say that in Israel, survey and control operations are in progress by ground and air to find and treat as many hopper infestations as possible before they become adults in June. The new adults may form small groups and swarms that could threaten agriculture crops. The last time breeding occurred and hopper bands formed in Israel was more than 50 years ago in April 1961.

It is reported that in Egypt, insecurity is hampering survey and control operations in the Sinai. Breeding has been detected in a few places but hopper groups and bands may be forming in other areas that are inaccessible in central and southern Sinai.

Any adult groups and swarms that form in either country are likely to move south during June to the summer breeding areas in the interior of central Sudan that extend from Darfur to western Eritrea.

In Sudan, breeding is in progress in the north where control operations continue against hopper bands that are forming along a 1,000 km stretch of the Nile Valley. New adults are expected to form groups and small swarms in May that could threaten agriculture crops. Smaller-scale breeding occurred near Lake Nasser in southern Egypt.

Some communities in Africa eat the locusts. They catch them  fly or cook before feasting on them.

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