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Pakistan, India and Yemen at risk from locusts

The governments of India and Pakistan are mobilising field teams along parts of the Indo-Pakistan border, in preparation for a possible locust invasion. Swarms are expected to cross the Indian Ocean on monsoon winds from Ethiopia and Somalia in early July. Recent heavy rainfall in Pakistan and western India has created ideal breeding conditions for the insects, a situation which is expected to continue until October. As a result, coastal areas of western Pakistan are facing a locust threat for the first time in many years.

In Yemen, FAO is organising a $5 million emergency aerial control campaign to tackle what could be the worst locust outbreak in 15 years. The insects have infested a large area in the remote interior of the country, and second generation breeding threatens to dramatically increase their numbers. The aerial spray campaign is expected to take at least a month, and if unsuccessful, there is a strong risk that swarms will grow and invade countries bordering the Red Sea.

Date published: July 2007


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