Sunday, May 9, 2021

Lebanon fights herds of locusts after changing wind direction


The Ministry of Agriculture, which is on full alert, said that a large number of locusts were destroyed on Monday.

Agriculture Minister Abbas Murda told Reuters that there had been no major agricultural losses so far, but there were concerns that more herds could be flown south of Lebanon.

Morada said, “We managed less time to destroy a large number but some have survived and are still in large quantities.

Locusts, which pose a threat to crops, are the latest addition to a long list of challenges facing Lebanon, which is battling its worst financial crisis in decades.

The Baalbeck-Hermel region in the northeast is mostly influenced by some cherry orchards with livestock farming where so far there is more arable land in the south of Lebanon.

“We are ready for anything that can happen,” Mortada said.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said the incident was unusual for the region but a change in wind direction had blown areas from Saudi Arabia to Jordan, and then Syria and Lebanon.

Lebanese FAO representative Maurice Saade said, “This is a very rare event. The breeding sites were on the Red Sea coast, the northern coast of Saudi Arabia, so they were blown through Jordan and Syria.”

“But as of now it is under control and I certainly have nothing to panic,” he said.

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