Ethiopian government procures spraying aircraft to combat locust crisis
The government of Ethiopia has said it is expecting not fewer than five spraying aircraft on Wednesday to further aid the fight against the migratory red locusts ravaging farmlands in the country.
Minister for Agriculture, Umer Hassen, who made this disclosure, said that the spraying aircraft were necessary to combat the massive swarm of locust.
According to him, the locust has destroyed over 600 hectares of agricultural produce, as regards the 13.8 million hectares of cultivated land in the rainy season.
He also stated that the deluxe vegetation caused by the rainy season created a more conducive atmosphere for the locust swarm.
Hassen pointed that the shortage of spraying aircraft was making the situation blow out of proportion as two aircraft went down while spraying pesticides on lands invaded.
He further revealed that despite the hitch, the government has halted spraying activities as the remaining five spraying aircraft, vehicles and manpower were still active.
“There is no shortage of chemicals, clothing and other materials for spraying,” he said.
Hassen, however, disclosed that the country was requesting aid through IGAD from the East African Locust Control Centre, World Food Program (WPS), and several other international bodies.