The authorities of five northern provinces of Phongsaly, Huaphan, Oudomxay, Luang Prabang and Xieng Khouang are pushing to control the rapidly worsening locust populations before they reach maturity.
The results of monitoring done by the Plant Protection Centre’s technical team in cooperation with authorities of districts have found that countless number of locust nymphs were destroying forests and agriculture production areas in 17 districts of five northern provinces. Pesticide spraying to kill the locust population covered an area of 898.6 ha in 135 villages, according to the authorities of Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Divisions.
On Jun 19, the Phonsa-ath villagers mobilised a labour force to catch locusts by using mosquito nets, both along roads and upland areas, catching locusts weighting over 550 kg.
Head of Phongsaly Plant Quarantine Teamwork Phouangnakhone Noly told local media on Jun 20 that over 286 ha of maize and rice farms in 80 villages in Khua, Samphan and Mai districts had been reportedly damaged by locusts, where only 241 ha in 34 villages had been sprayed with pesticides.
Our teams were still having difficulties because we could not access all corners such as mountainous areas and others that are quite far and would require us to walk a long distance. We also need financial support and spraying equipment, said Mr Phouangnakhon.
The rocketing locust population has severely damaged 197 ha of upland rice and maize farms in 27 villages. The worst hit was Kham district, amounting to over 92 ha in 17 villages, said Director of Agriculture Sector, Xiengkhuang Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Division, Buapha Bounkhampone.
The Xiengkhuang Agriculture and Forestry Division has collaborated with local authorities and villagers this year in helping to eliminate locusts by using conventional methods to kill locusts, such as hitting them with tree branches. Over 128 ha of farmlands in 11 villages have reportedly been badly damaged, Mr Buapha went on.
More than 35 ha of rice and maize farms in two districts of La and Xay in Oudomxay province have been found to be affected by the locusts, said Director of Agriculture Sector, Oudomxay Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Department, Khamphao Boundara
Our teams are now paying close attention and monitoring the expansion of locust populations, resulting in the killing of locusts in 19 ha of farmland in three villages, said Mr Khamphao.
Huaphan province reported that over 580 ha of farmlands in 185 villages were badly damaged by locusts and that authorities had sprayed pesticides over 230 ha in 42 villages.
Source: Lao News Agency