Tehran, Iran, April 24
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has sent its envoy to Iran to explore whether the recent locusts' attack to Iran was organized by intention.
In the words of the Head of the Iranian Plant Protection Organization (IPPO), neighboring countries were involved in combating invasive locusts in previews years.
“Desert locusts are dangerous pests. They typically invade 59 countries mainly the North and East Africa,” Head of IPPO Mohammadreza Dargahi said, Trend reports citing Tasnim News Agency. According to him, the locusts attacking Iran usually come from the northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, but their recent attack was an unprecedented one in the past 40 years.
“Urgent meetings with the officials of affected provinces were organized to manage the crisis, and they mobilized all their facilities to work with IPPO,” said Dargahi.
"After the locusts attacked the country, some people requested to collect them before the insects were sprayed on. We allowed them to do so before the locusts were sprayed on, but it should be noted that after spraying it can not be used even for animal feed and poultry,” he added.
The head of IPPO said that to date, more than $1.6 million have been provided for combating locusts, in addition to logistics facilities and 10 sprayer planes, and another $2.3 million were been requested.
In his words, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) sent its envoy to Iran to explore if the locusts' attack to Iran was organized intentionally.
FAO envoys traveled to Iran and the regional countries, from which the swarms of the locusts came, to conduct necessary research and find the main reasons behind the unprecedented outbreak, Dargahi added.
In mid-February, FAO raised an alarm on desert locust outbreak in northeast Africa and Saudi Arabia triggered by heavy rains.
According to FAO’s latest update released on April 3, the situation is now improving along both sides of the Red Sea due to intensive control operations and drying weather conditions. During these operations, more than 80,000 ha were treated in March.
However, second-generation breeding is still in progress in some coastal areas of Sudan and Saudi Arabia where ecological conditions remain favorable causing additional hopper and adult groups, bands and a few swarms to form.
The report adds that some adult groups of locusts moved to the spring breeding areas and laid eggs in the interior of Saudi Arabia and in March.