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Locusts leave a trail of destruction

Locusts leave a trail of destruction

Niël Terblanché

 

HUGE swarms of locusts have swooped in on crop fields in the Kavango East Region and are currently destroying the livelihoods of hundreds of subsistence farmers.

 

The first of the big swarms that are currently sweeping over the Kavango East and the western parts of the Zambezi Region were first noticed over the past weekend.

 

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform started receiving calls for help from local crop farmers who said that their entire mahangu crop was destroyed by the insects.

 

 

Swarms of red locusts have been moving in a westerly direction since last year.

 

The first swarms were detected in the Zambezi Region last year, but at the time most of the crops have been harvested and farmers were not as badly affected.

 

The insects did, however, destroy large tracts of bare grazing land in their tracks.

 

The resurgence of the current swarms comes at a time when new crops are growing well after good rains were received over large parts of the Kavango East since the start of the year.

 

Officials from the agriculture ministry said the insects in the swarms that are currently plaguing subsistence farmers are already mature and very difficult to control.

 

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