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Ethiopia; locusts outbreak posing a threat to neighboring countries

An outbreak of locusts in Ethiopia is wreaking chaos and its spread to neighboring Kenya, Eritrea and Sudan is being feared, announced the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization.

The Food and Agricultural Organization says the locusts have so far covered an area more than 351 sq. km and are consuming at least 1.7m metric tons of vegetation per day.

The UN has said that if an Ethiopian locust infestation is not brought under control then the crop-devouring insect could “invade” neighboring countries.

The Ethiopian government has called for “immediate action” to deal with the problem affecting four of the country’s nine states, a UN statement said.

In northern Amhara state some farmers have lost “nearly 100%” of their crop of the staple grain, teff, it added.

The authorities’ work has also been affected by “ongoing insecurity” in some areas of the country, according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

“We need to act fast and mobilise the required resources urgently to scale up control and preventive measures,” FAO Ethiopia representative Fatouma Seid said.

 

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