RUNDU – Swarms of locusts in the Kavango East and West regions have damaged about 854 hectares of crop fields since the outbreak, the ministry of agriculture has said.
The locusts destroyed 583.12 hectares in the Kavango East, while about 271.5 hectares were damaged in Kavango West.
However, the ministry said it was still busy verifying and collecting data as they have also embarked on the locust spraying activity.
“The most affected area in Kavango East was Mashare constituency, where most crop fields were seriously destroyed; there were destructions recorded in other constituencies as well,” said Katrina Moses, the agriculture ministry scientific officer responsible for the two Kavango regions.
“It is important for us to go and verify the crop fields that were destroyed in order to collect data on how many hectares of our farmers’ crop fields were destroyed by locusts, so we have technicians on the ground who are busy doing verifications, especially in the Kavango East region.”
In Kavango West, swarms of locusts that the ministry followed crossed to Oshikoto region last week Friday.
“Our colleagues are on the ground, scouting for locusts and spraying is usually done in the early morning hours because during the day, these locusts are flying,” Moses said.
According to the agriculture scientific officer, at the beginning of the spraying activity, there were challenges but that has been sorted as stakeholders stepped on board.
“We have stakeholders like the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) that works with our ministry when we have disasters; they are also supporting us in many ways – not only in transport but in other areas as well,” Katrina noted.
The staff on the ground are equipped with the things they need to execute spraying, pesticides and protective gears that they use to spray.
“Our staff are in the farms in the Ncaute, Kondja village area of Kavango East region. Apart from the two areas, we haven’t received any other reports since they passed the region on 7 March to Kavango West,” she noted.