$1.5m Allocated to Fight Desert Locusts
EghtesadOnline: Authorities have allocated 200 billion rials ($1.52 million) to fight desert locust sweeping across southern parts of the country.
The Plant Protection Organization of Iran, affiliated to the Agriculture Ministry, says it is fighting the pest over 5,000 hectares, according to Financial Tribune.
Mohammad Reza Mir, spokesman of the organization, says the two provinces of Hormozgan and Sistan-Baluchestan have been affected, Mehr News Agency reported.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has placed Iran in the group of countries that have to take precautionary measures regarding the pest, meaning there is a potential threat to its crops.
Oman, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Somalia and Eritrea are also placed in the same category.
The first generation of desert locusts attacked Iran about a year ago. FAO alerted Iran of probable locust attacks on Jan. 21, IRNA reported.
The Plant Protection Organization of Iran battled the pest across 750,000 hectares in the previous round of attack.
The provinces of Hormozgan, Sistan-Baluchestan, Khuzestan, Bushehr, Fars, Kerman, Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad, South Khorasan and Ilam were swarmed by desert locusts in April.
Former agriculture minister, Mahmoud Hojjati, said at the time that locust attacks can threaten Iran’s food security, if proper measures are not taken promptly.
The desert locust is among the most dangerous pests that can destroy all greenery, including grains, fodder, vegetables, tree barks and even weeds on their path.
The pest is indigenous to Saudi Arabia, Morocco and African countries, and enters Iran by crossing the Persian Gulf.