Lebanon battles swarms of locusts after wind changes direction

Lebanon battles swarms of locusts after wind changes direction [ad_1]

The agriculture ministry, which is on full alert, mentioned on Monday giant numbers of the locusts had been destroyed.

There have been no large farming losses to date however there are issues that extra swarms could possibly be blown to the south of Lebanon, caretaker agriculture minister Abbas Mortada informed Reuters.

“We managed in little time to destroy huge numbers but some have escaped and there are large quantities still, mostly in the Hermel area of Marjaheen,” Mortada mentioned.

The locusts, which threaten crops, are the most recent addition to an extended record of challenges confronted by Lebanon, which is battling its worst monetary disaster in a long time.

Lebanese Army helicopter fight a swarm of desert locusts in Lebanon's northeastern town of Arsal on the border with Syria, on April 23.Lebanese Army helicopter fight a swarm of desert locusts in Lebanon's northeastern town of Arsal on the border with Syria, on April 23.

The Baalbek-Hermel area within the northeast has principally livestock farming with a couple of cherry plantations affected by the locusts to date whereas Lebanon’s south has extra agricultural land.

“We are ready for anything that may occur,” Mortada mentioned.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) mentioned the incidence was uncommon for the realm however {that a} change in wind direction had blown the locusts in from Saudi Arabia to Jordan and onwards to Syria and Lebanon.

“It is a very rare occurrence… the breeding grounds were on the Red Sea coast, Saudi Arabia’s northern coast, so they were blown in through Jordan and Syria,” Maurice Saade, the FAO consultant in Lebanon, mentioned.

“But so far it is under control and I certainly see nothing to panic about,” he mentioned.

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