The Plant Protection Centre has said it needs more insecticides for locust control efforts in the Northern provinces.
Currently, authorities in Huaphanh and Laung Prabang are spraying insecticides to cull locusts in several villages in the provinces.
Over 17 hectares in five villages in Huaphanh and 30 villages in Luang Prabang have been sprayed with insecticidal chemicals to minimise the locust population, said Director of the Plant Protection Centre Siriphonh Phitaksoun.
Relevant sectors are also reportedly lacking in financial support, vehicles, labour and equipment needed for bringing the locust infestation under control.
A recent survey suggests that locust populations can be found in local people’s rice farms at a density of 40-50 per square metre.
The authorities are accelerating efforts to minimise the locust population as the rainy season is approaching and that would mean the chance to limit their population will be greatly reduced.
Since early March, locusts have been invading and damaging cash crop farms over a total area of over 140 ha. These include bamboo forests, rice and maize farms in Xone, Hiem, Huameuang, Xamneua, Viengxay, Sobbao and Xiengkor districts in Huaphanh Province, said Syviengsub Phengphomma, Director of the Agriculture Sector, Huaphan Provincial Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
Other 1,000 ha of farmlands in Kham, Phoukood and Nong Hed districts, Xiengkhouang Province, have been reportedly infested by locust masses, according to Buapha Bounkhampon, Director of the Agriculture Sector, Xiengkhouang Provincial Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
In recent years, the Chinese government and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations have donated pesticide spraying equipment to Laos to support its efforts to minimise locust populations in the Northern provinces.
Source: Lao News Agency