21 Jan 2015
Funds are running out to fight a battle against an ongoing plague of locusts in Madagascar, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The agency says an extra US$10.6 million is urgently needed to avoid a serious food security challenge for 13 million people on the south-east African island.
Annie Monard, who leads FAO’s emergency response to the locust plague, says spraying operations are necessary through the end of the rainy season in May.
” We have to be sure that all locust population are at a low level, low density level, and not able to start again quickly another upsurge or another plague.” (0’13”)
A locust plague that started spreading across Madagascar in 2012 was successfully halted last year.
FAO says the first quarter of the year is critical as wingless “hopper” locust bands are currently breeding.
These hoppers are easier to combat as they move more slowly than winged adults.
Stephanie Castro, United Nations.