Food supplies for an estimated 13 million people are at risk, and UN agencies warn that an additional 20 million people could be threatened if the crisis drags on. I wish I had effective pesticides to combat the locusts.” He is not alone, farmers in the affected regions are desperate for supplies and training, as Muchenge shares: Insufficient equipment and funding have been further exacerbated by the global travel and import restrictions taken to curb the spread of COVID-19, which have resulted in disruptions to supply chains, delaying delivery of product supplies, surveillance equipment and global awareness. This spells disaster for those who live in their path. This area provides news, videos and publications, as well as overviews of social media channels and mobile apps of the Bayer Group. Communities are left with little else to do than use smoke, dig ditches to bury hoppers or trying to scare them off by banging on drums, cans and pans, blowing whistles, honking motorcycle horns or revving tractors. The plague began in June 2019 and continued into 2020, although locust swarms have experienced steady declines in population and geographical reach from May to October, and are, as of November 2020, primarily found … Each can consume 2g of vegetation every day – combined, a swarm of 80 million can consume food equivalent to that eaten by 35,000 people a … Recent rains had given hope of relief — hope that is now being dashed by the massive locust invasion. But the problem could get much worse. Locusts swarm acros a highway at Lerata village, near Archers Post in Samburu county, approximately 300 kilomters (186 miles) north of Kenyan capital, Nairobi on January 22, 2020. consuming as much food in one day as 35,000 people. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, farmers in some of the world’s most impoverished regions are fighting to stop locusts from decimating vital crops and grazing pastures and leaving vast populations food insecure. A Living Nightmare: Defeating the Locust Plague of 2020. Locusts rest on a tree in Quetta, Pakistan, on June 12, 2020. Plagues of locusts are recorded as early as the Pharaonic times of ancient Egypt with perhaps the most famous reference in the Old Testament’s Book of Exodus. Multiple swarms have been appearing across the Horn of Africa over recent weeks, some as big as 25 miles in diameter. The plague will encompass all the land – and will eventually spread to the whole world. East Africa races against time to contain locust outbreak as UN pleads for funding Published Fri, Feb 28 2020 9:20 AM EST Updated Tue, Mar 3 2020 1:17 AM EST Elliot Smith @ElliotSmithCNBC I N SOME PARTS of the world, covid-19 is not the only plague that 2020 has brought. The outbreak is the worst in 70 years in Kenya and the worst in 25 years in Ethiopia, Somalia and India. Learn more about Bayer and the opportunities available. The year 2020 has been such a disaster, it will likely take some time to figure out what made it such a train wreck. The need now is more urgent than ever. In response to the outbreak of desert locusts in East Africa, the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will be providing $8 million in humanitarian assistance to support regional operations to control locusts in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Republic of Kenya, and the Federal Republic of Somalia. “This is extremely worrying and has major implications for Kenya in terms of food security,” Amina Abdullah warns. One of the greatest challenges we experienced is that our traditional methods of fighting such insects was not effective. To truly get ahead of this locust catastrophe and prevent a humanitarian crisis, there must be a shared commitment among partners at the global and local level to invest in innovative solutions and ensure they are made available to farmers like Pius Nyagah Muchenge who are trying to hold out hope: The current locust crisis is only the latest example of the devastation that crop pests can cause. Then the rivers will sink all the boats. The current locust crisis shows that crop protection and innovations in agriculture have been—and will continue to be—crucial to help ensure food security, global prosperity and a sustainable future. According to regional authorities, the damage is estimated at over 13 million US dollars. But how do we get ahead of potential outbreaks? The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), says favorable climatic conditions since the beginning of the year have allowed widespread breeding of the pest in East Africa, Southwest Asia and the area around the Red Sea. Swarms travelling from Pakistan into India made their way to the northern states for the first time since 1962. The goals for development and humanitarian organizations are to work ourselves out of a job. 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Food is an essential for survival so the whole community will be affected directly or indirectly by the food scarcity and rising prices.”. 355 Lexington Ave, 16th Floor New York, NY, 10017, 332 South Michigan Avenue, 9th floor Chicago, IL 60604, 10586 W. Pico Blvd., #139 Los Angeles, CA 90064, Concern works with tens of thousands of farming and pastoralist families across the region and our teams are working to support them through the crisis. Adults have a voracious appetite and can eat their own weight daily. ... Apr. ... and executive director of the Mpala Research Centre in northern Kenya, which is working to sequence the locust genome. According to the FAO, aerial control is the only effective means to reduce the locust numbers, and spraying operations have been scaled up in response. Looking for a job in an innovative company? Conflict, climate disaster, chronic poverty. Now look at this plague invading an airport on the Abadan Island in southwest Iran: But when they invade, they descend as an army of billions. Locust map by FAO. They are found in the deserts of some 30 countries throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East during quiet times. They are unpredictable. Read more about our economic, ecological and social challenges and opportunities. Without broad-scale action to control the locusts, damages and losses could reach US$8.5 billion by the end of 2020, leading to widespread famine, disease and increased poverty. This in a time, where COVID-19 already puts pressure on food systems in countries where economies are highly dependent on agriculture. Scientists note climate change as a main driver of the current outbreak. There is no silver bullet. The locust crisis that has now reached 10 countries could carry on to endanger millions more … A similar locust invasion in the 1950s resulted in famine in Kenya. Continued funding to provide access to urgently needed insecticide is the only way to address the immediate crisis. Huge swarms of desert locusts are making their way across East Africa, causing massive destruction to crops and livelihoods. Pakistani officials say an outbreak of desert locusts is spreading across the country, posing a threat to food security. Undeniably, 2020 has had a bit of an “end of the world” kind of vibe about it. Insecticides are not readily available for us, and most farmers are not guided on which ones to use as some were not effective at all. In the Wachile region of Ethiopia, locust swarms forced more than 15,000 people to evacuate their homes in May. In an outbreak, the locusts can quickly multiply, form swarms and migrate over large distances, traveling up to 95 miles a day. the most destructive migratory pest in the world, with a “small” swarm (less than a mile in diameter). Pilot programs using advanced types of drones and satellite imagery that intelligently map out dry topsoil on farms to look for moisture beneath, could help predict ideal conditions for egg laying and potentially stop an outbreak before it can start. The UN reckons the swarms in … Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website. Oxfam estimates that thanks to droughts and areas of severe floods, 25.5 million people in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda already suffer from hunger and severe malnourishment. This spells disaster for those who live in their path. 3, 2020 StarTribune. ... 2020, 4:48 PM UTC. Unless we end with a global nuclear war, the coronavirus and the financial meltdown will dominate how people are remembering this year. “It only takes 30 seconds for a swarm to eat an entire field.” The Desert Locust is considered the most destructive migratory pest in the world, with a “small” swarm (less than a mile in diameter) consuming as much food in one day as 35,000 people. Give now to help transform lives. While only a fraction, approximately 600 species, are categorized as destructive insects, if left unchecked, the pests could destroy 30-60% of crop harvests. Dr. Holger Kray, World Bank Practice Manager for Agriculture and Food Security, elaborates on the awareness issue: “If the world was not unfortunately distracted by the horrific COVID-19 situation, the locust situation would be all over the media; because it is overwhelming, it is a horrific situation”. To help raise awareness of the crisis, Bayer moderated a livestream conversation on LinkedIn (replay here) where Indian farmer Baldwinder Singh Kang describes what is happening in his community while renowned experts from the FAO, the World Bank and Bayer discuss the impacts on food security and what can be done to stop the trajectory of the upsurge. “Starting in early 2020, the global Desert Locust situation deteriorated, as favorable climatic conditions allowed widespread breeding of the pest in East Africa, Southwest Asia, and the area around the Red Sea,” writes the website, pinpointing Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Iran, … Fri 20 Mar 2020 03.00 EDT. Do you have any queries or comments about our website, our products or any of our services? Updated Feb. 22, 2020 8:31AM ET / Published Feb. 22, 2020 5:34AM ET REUTERS HONG KONG—Swarms of desert locusts have devastated crops in East … South America in late June as a main driver of the pesticide Fenitrothion time, where covid-19 puts! 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