OSHAKATI - The ministry of agriculture has advised communities to desist from scaring away idle locusts outside the crop fields as it hampers the ministry’s effort to trap and subsequently spray them.
The director of extension and engineering services in the agriculture ministry, Mildred Kambinda said there is nothing wrong with the indigenous methods of scaring away locusts and burning tyres but appeals that such practices should only be applicable when the locusts are in the crop fields.
Kambinda said locusts, when outside crop fields, lay on low grass and that is usually is the best time to spray them.
“There is nothing wrong with doing that in the crop fields but when done outside the crop fields, it now contradicts our method where we want to trap them,” said Kambinda.
Kambinda stressed that locusts are only sprayed in the morning when they have rested hence communities should desist from chasing them up.
She said in Ekamba, where the locusts were sprayed in the Oshana region on Tuesday, the locusts were high up on Acacia and palm trees, making spraying difficult. Kambinda said when communities come across locusts, they should alert agricultural officers in their areas or constituency officers.
The director also cautioned the community against coming out when the team is out spraying as the pesticide is harmful to both humans and livestock.
Kambinda said the team has observed communities coming out of their homes to see what is happening and thus putting their health at risk.
The director is also cautioning the public against consuming locusts that have been sprayed as they are also hazardous.
To differentiate sprayed locusts from the unsprayed, Kambinda said communities should collect locusts that are flying instead of those that are lying on the ground.
She warned that the same locusts should not be fed to animals.
The directorate reiterated the ministry’s stance to fight the locusts.
She stressed that government has made resources available towards the fight of locust invasion as they have a negative impact on both food and nutrition security of the community.