FAO boosts local locust surveillance and early warning
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recently handed over donated equipment to strengthen the country’s locust surveillance and early warning.
Over 2000 hectares of cropland and more than 700,000 hectares of grazing land were damaged by the consecutive outbreaks of African migratory, red, and brown locusts dating back from February 2020 to May/June 2022.
The donated equipment which includes two vehicles and 9 desktop computers was purchased with funds from a regional project “African Migratory Locust Response to Mitigate Impacts on Food Security and Livelihoods”.
The regional project was implemented in Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, the countries that the locusts worst hit.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, executive director, Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata in a statement said the support came at the right time.
“Since 2020, we have embarked on extensive surveillance, monitoring, and control of the African migratory and brown locust which is an expensive operation. The support from FAO has eased the operation, and we will now boost ground surveillance and control operations to contain the pest and safeguard food and nutrition security,” she added.
FAO has supported Namibia by providing training at national and community levels in effective locust monitoring including surveillance, mapping, and reporting.
FAO Representative to Namibia, Farayi Zimudzi, said the support aims to protect food and nutrition security, and the livelihoods of vulnerable people in locust-affected countries from locust damage in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner.
Meanwhile, the introduction of the eLocust3m app to the fight against locusts has facilitated the building of the capacities of agricultural extension officers, community-level key informants, and traditional leaders to effectively coordinate locust surveillance and reporting in their respective areas.