ADDIS ABABA: The Ethiopian government has deployed airplanes and helicopters in its fight against a recent locust invasion, an official said here.
On Saturday, Abera Lemma, Public Relations Director at Ethiopia Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), said the aircraft were being used to assess the extent of the invasionm as well as to spray chemicals on locust affected areas, reports Xinhua news agency. Lemma said the planes and choppers were being deployed in areas located in Ethiopia's Southern, Oromia and Somali regions hit hardest by the locust invasion.
Lemma further said there are plans to initiate a community-led campaign to fight the locust invasion which crossed to Ethiopia from neighbouring Somalia.
The MoA has dispatched dozens of experts to help with the efforts to battle the locust invasion which is threatening tens of hectares of agricultural lands.
According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Ethiopia suffered the worst locust outbreak in 25 years in 2020.
Since January 2020, swarms of desert locusts damaged over 200,000 hectares of cropland in Ethiopia affecting the food security of millions of people, the FAO added. Each square kilometre of a swarm can have from 40 million-80 million locusts. An adult desert locust consumes food equaling roughly to its weight — about two grams every day, which means that even a small swarm of insects will eat food consumed by six elephants, 20 camels, or 35,000 people every day, according to the FAO. (IANS)