Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Iran launches operation to fight swarms of desert locusts | Al Jazeera

Iran launches operation to fight swarms of desert locusts

Iranian authorities are engaged in a large-scale operation across several provinces in southern Iran to battle swarms of migratory locusts that threaten billions of dollars worth of food in farmlands at a critical time for the country.

Large waves of yellow-coloured desert locusts, which are regarded as some of the most destructive migratory pests in the world, have travelled to Iran from the Arabian Peninsula for a third year in a row.

At least seven provinces towards the south and west of Iran are now actively fighting the insects, according to authorities, a number that could grow to 13 of Iran’s 32 provinces...



  • The Iranian Agriculture Ministry has launched a major operation to battle swarms of locusts that have invaded farming lands in three provinces in the south and west of the country.

Head of Iran’s Plant Protection Organization (PPO) Saeed Moein said on Sunday that the fight against locusts that hit Iran after arrival from Saudi Arabia on March 24 has now expanded to cover nearly 2,000 hectares of lands.

Moein said that locusts had invaded farming lands in 13 cities in Iran’s southwestern provinces of Khuzestan as well as parts of the provinces Bushehr on the Persian Gulf and Ilam on the western border with Iraq.

He said locusts have arrived in Iran from areas to the west and northwest of Saudi Arabia this year unlike previous years when swarms had normally originated from eastern and central regions of the Arab country.

That change of direction could affect southern Iranian provinces more than those in the west, said the PPO head, adding that the agriculture ministry is well prepared to battle locusts in major farming hubs in Fars and Hormozgan provinces in the upcoming weeks.

The PPO has asked the administrative government for an additional budget of 1 trillion rials ($4 million) to be better prepared to battle the voracious insects, said Piltan.

He said an initial fund of 150 billion rials ($600,000) had been earmarked to farmers and government agencies in three provinces affected by the first wave of locusts.

The official said, however, that the control operations against locusts would expand to treat around 600,000 hectares of agricultural lands in southern and western Iran by September when the operation is expected to finish.



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