Eritrea: Assessment Meeting On Desert Locust Control Efforts

Massawa — The Ministry of Agriculture hosted an assessment meeting on 2 April in Massawa, focusing on the endeavors made to manage the desert locust infestation in the Northern and Southern Red Sea Regions during 2023.

The meeting saw the participation of Mr. Arefaine Berhe, the Minister of Agriculture, Regional Governors, heads of regional Assemblies, various officials, agricultural experts, and representatives of farmers.

Mr. Kibrom Andemicael, Managing Director in the Northern Red Sea Region, emphasized in his opening remarks the significance of the control efforts, highlighting their importance not only for Eritrea but also for neighboring nations.

Mr. Tesfit Gerezgiher, Director General of Agriculture and Land in the region, detailed the activities undertaken, the challenges faced, and future plans for mitigating the locust threat in his report. He noted that the locust invasion in 2023/2024 was unprecedented in scale and scope, with over 1,400 personnel, 14 spraying units, and 4 vehicles mobilized for the control operations.

Mr. Tesfit praised the collaborative effort involving the Ministry of Agriculture, the general public, defense forces, and local administrations, which effectively managed the locust threat before it could cause significant harm to agriculture and pasturelands.

Ambassador Mohammed-Seid Mantai, Governor of the Southern Red Sea Region, warned of the potential for increased locust activity following the onset of rains in various parts of the region, urging for vigilant monitoring and thorough preparedness.

Minister Arefaine Berhe highlighted the successful coordinated efforts among agricultural specialists, the community, local administrations, and defense forces in addressing the locust crisis. He further urged for a strengthened collective approach, including the provision of training, the development of alternative pesticides, and the execution of regular field inspections to prevent future invasions.

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