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Update on Locust Control Programme (FAO/CERF)

Update on Locust Control Programme

12 May 2016

Update on Lao PDR Government control program to manage continuing outbreak of Yellow Spined Bamboo Locust nymphs in Luangprabang, Phongsali and Huaphan provinces.  

·         MAF Department of Agriculture (DOA) and Plant Protection Centre (PPC) Surveillance teams are now operating  across all locust affected districts;

·         Populations of nymphs (hoppers) are mainly at the second to fourth instar (development stages 1-5 followed by adult stage);

·         Government funds to support field teams has been moved to PAFO in each province and has now reached district DAFO for distribution;

·         Communication campaign underway with articles in various newspapers outlining current locust situation and Government response to the emergency.  Director General DOA visited several districts with TV crew & reporter;

·         Confirmed reports of hoppers are increasing in some areas e.g. in Pakxeng district, hatchings expected at 23 known sites of egg beds, but now 32 sites have been registered with hoppers - in Viengkham district, 25 known sites of egg beds, now 64 confirmed locations with significant hopper activity;

·         Control teams are operational in all affected districts and are spraying hoppers, with the assistance of local villagers acting as water carriers & guides. Progress is being made;

·          This local assistance is being coordinated by District Locust Management Committees working with all villages in affected districts (meetings held to explain locust threat, address any community concerns and need for community involvement in management response);

·         Generally a  high level of cooperation from villagers who are concerned about possible loss of crops (upland rice, maize & Job’s Tears) based on experience during 2015;

·         Planting of crops has been delayed slightly in some districts as villages wait to see if populations of hoppers move out of bamboo forest hatching areas (as in 2015);

·         At this point hoppers are remaining in bamboo forest areas and feeding there;

·         Spraying is extremely difficult in bamboo forests and control teams are experiencing some difficulties in accessing and treating all known populations of hoppers;

·         Main problems for control teams – access to sites and requirement for additional supplies of protective clothing for spraying (goggles, gloves, face masks & shoes - using at a faster rate than expected). MAF-DOA is addressing this issue;

 

Update on contribution from the FAO-CERF project

·         FAO International Locust consultant and FAO team have been in the field since 3 May. Currently visiting DOA surveillance & control teams in each district (to date, 4 districts visited in Luangprabang province) to assess locust situation, assist with technical issues and advise on operational planning if required;

·         24 pick-up 4X4 vehicles with drivers,  provided by FAO-CERF, are operational in all districts;

·         Support being provided to surveillance teams (mobility costs) under Letter of Agreement with MAF, with first payment made and distributed, and second payment about to be made.

 

FAO
May 16th 2016

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