Saturday, 16 March 2013

Locusts Reach Lebanon and Agriculture Ministry Confirms: Environment Doesn't Favor Multiplication

Locust sightings were made across Lebanon on Saturday and the agriculture ministry vowed to combat them to prevent an outbreak.

"Lebanon does not have an environment that is favorable for locust multiplication,” the ministry assured, noting that they arrived in limited numbers.

It elaborated: “The arrival of locust was expected because of the current Pentecostal wind but they will not settle in the country”.

The ministry advised municipalities to refrain from spraying any pesticides as “they are not needed and would damage plants”.

“If the problem worsens, the ministry and the army helicopters will intervene with special pesticides that we have made available”.

Earlier on Saturday, several complaints were made to Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3), which contacted the director-general of the ministry, Louis Lahoud, who said the ministry had the available means to combat them in case of an outbreak.

The National News Agency quoted farmers in the northern district of Akkaras as hoping that rain and lower temperatures in the next few days would stand in the way of a potential onslaught.

Although environmentalist Wilson Riz told the radio station that the type of locusts sighted in Lebanon has the tendency to multiply, the chairman of the board of directors of the Agricultural Scientific Research Authority, Michel Efram, played down fears of their spread, saying cold winds and rains in the coming days will drive them away.

Locusts can have a devastating effect on agriculture by quickly stripping crops.

Locusts are known to move with the wind, and the swarm was swept eastwards from Egypt to Israel and then to Lebanon.

Reports about a swarm of locusts in the northern city of Tripoli were not true, the National News Agency said.

Similar sightings were made in Dbayeh, Zouk and Beit al-Shaar, north of Beirut.

NNA said locusts were also found in the area of al-Qasmiyeh, north of the southern city of Tyre that lies near the border with Israel.
Original Article Here

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