Madagascar Gripped By A Huge Locust Plague


According to a new report released by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on Monday, a widespread locust infestation is threatening the livelihoods of some 13 million people in Madagascar.

The FAO estimates that at least 1.5 million hectares making up about two-thirds of the island country’s area could be infested by locusts by September 2013 if appropriate action is not taken.

The organisation says that emergency funding are needed before June to prevent the plague from escalating. Underfunded locust control campaigns in the past years have led to a rapid growth of the locust population.

Pic: FAO

Pic: FAO

The fast spreading insects are capable of destroying huge tracts of pasture and crops, and represent a major threat to local food security in a country where most of the rural inhabitants are dependent on subsistence farming.

The locust plague is reported to be worst in the central, southern and south-western parts of the country, in areas where large proportions of the population live below the poverty line.

I don’t know all the facts but if Madagascar is like South Africa, then very little government funds go to the maintenance of the country. Money is mostly used to finance luxury cars, homes and parties. To spend money on preventing a locust plague could sound like a waste of money to some countries, just my thoughts.

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