Min. of Agriculture begins precautionary measures against locusts
Ministry of Agriculture Adel Elbeltagy - YOUM7

CAIRO: The Ministry of Agriculture has begun organizing patrols along Egypt’s borders with Libya and Sudan in the Western and Southern Deserts as part of an environmental survey to detect locust swarms before they reach populated areas, Youm7 reported Monday.

“There are 55 bases for combating locusts in Egypt, and they are all equipped with pesticides, vehicles and other tools to protect crops. Also, new SUVs have been made available at locust stations at the borders to facilitate exploration in rough places,” Mohsen Abdu, head of the Central Department for Combating Agricultural Pests, told Youm7 Sunday.

Efforts to control the African locusts and desert locusts coming from Sudan and Libya have already begun, as locusts become more dangerous and widespread in the winter, Abdu said.

While the African locusts are not a serious threat to agriculture in Egypt, there are still efforts to find locust nymphs and locusts that survive the control, he added.

African locusts appear earlier in August in the Wadi Gedid governorate in the country’s southwest, and have been brought under control to prevent potential breeding in the area, according to Abdu.

In March 2013, swarms of locusts hit Egypt’s crops before continuing their immigration to Israel and Palestine.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations released a statement afterwards, describing the insects as an “immature swarm” which appeared east of Cairo then dispersed into smaller “swarmlets.”

The statement read: “The locusts originated from breeding that has been in progress since November in southeast Egypt between Berenice and the Sudanese border.”

Additional reporting by Ezz el-Nubi.

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