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Samangan farmers fear locust attack

Samangan farmers fear locust attack

Apr 01, 2012 - 19:13

AIBAK (PAN): Farmers in northern Samangan Province fear a possible locust attack on their farms, but agriculture officials say they will ward off the threat after surveying vulnerable areas.

A number of jittery growers in the region told Pajhwok Afghan News, that nymphs (before they turn into adults), may damage their crops and ruin their livelihoods this season.

They said if the nymphs, once hatched from the eggs and starts to fly, usually during spring and early summer, it would be hard to contain the insects.

Shamsuddin, a farmer in the area said: “In one week the baby grasshoppers will hatch from the eggs and if they are not destroyed, they will damage the plants of wheat.”

He added: “I planted 210 kilograms of wheat on 16 acres of land, if the problem is not solved all my efforts will be wasted.”

He added that the Agriculture Ministry did not tackle the problem earlier, so dealing with it later will be counter- productive.

Habibur Rahman, another resident of the area said: “I reported the problem to the Agriculture Ministry that grasshoppers are in mutation now in several areas but they did nothing about it.”

He said the problem was rampant in Gawdara, Lailisai, Aochqadoq, Taikhonk and Manqotan areas of Aibak city, the capital of Samangan province.

Nor Muhammad, Director of Agriculture Ministry of Samangan Province, said that they have prepared 13,200 liters of pesticide to spray 50,000 hectares of land, nine spraying machines, nine vehicles and 90 workers were deployed in nine groups, guided by vocational officers to stem the menace.

“After we complete the survey in two weeks, then we will start working on the process”, he said.

According to Gulab Ghyasy, director of plants protection of the province, the life span of a grasshopper is 40 days and a female grasshopper could lay about 100 eggs in various stages.