Algeria’s locust control efforts highlighted in Oran

ORAN- The Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hamid Bensâad, underlined, on Sunday in Oran, the efforts made by Algeria in the fight against locusts and the significant capacities mobilized for this purpose, while working the strengthening of cooperation with the member states of the Committee for the Control of the Desert Locust in the Western Region (CLCPRO).

Inaugurating the work of the 10th session of the Desert Locust Control Committee in the Western Region and the fifteenth meeting of its executive committee, which are taking place in Oran, Mr. Bensaad indicated that Algeria, during the The last locust invasion in 2004-2005, treated an area of ​​no less than 4,500,000 hectares, which required the allocation of “significant financial envelopes to contain swarms composed mainly of locusts and hoppers”.

He declared that “in the face of the permanent threat posed by the desert locust to the food security of our country, Algeria, since independence, has firmly and consistently adhered to the plan of preventive control by mobilizing all the human resources and materials necessary to perpetuate this strategy which would ensure an early forecast of the arrival of this scourge”.

In addition, Algeria, in coordination with the CLCPRO, has contributed to the mobilization of intervention and protection resources for the benefit of many countries in the region affected by the locust invasion to enable them to deal with this devastating scourge, pointed out the same speaker.

In this context, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has made great efforts to preserve and strengthen the activities of the services responsible for locust control with the aim of protecting the agricultural centers that have developed in the south of the country in level of permanent habitats of the desert locust, according to the same official.

In the same context, he added, that many investment projects related to construction and rehabilitation, which were granted by public authorities from 2006 to 2022 to the National Institute of Plant Protection, being l operational control tool, enabled the locust control services to be present in all regions of the country, by creating ten logistics bases equipped with all the means necessary for rapid and effective intervention.

A laboratory specializing in acridology has also been set up at the level of the wilaya of Tamanrasset with the aim of ensuring research and training in the vital environments of locusts, as well as ensuring complete technical and scientific coverage throughout the south of the country.

In 2020, the locust control services in Algeria were equipped with two research units whose missions include the development of surveillance strategies, the exploration of agricultural scourges as well as the development and improvement of phytosanitary protection techniques for agricultural crops.

Regarding cooperation at the regional level, Hamid Bensâad indicated that “the Algerian government did not hesitate to respond positively to all the requests received from neighboring countries or through our partner represented by the body, in particular to receive students in Algerian universities and training institutes”.

He underlined that “the scope of cooperation will be widened to include joint research and exploration activities between the countries of the region with the support of the Desert Locust Control Authority in the Western Region and the realization of coordinated work programs to strengthen the prevention and protection of our agricultural crops with the aim of improving the food security of our countries”.

He affirmed that “Algeria strongly supports the initiatives of certain African countries to join and welcomes their participation in the body, which will enable them in the future to face the locust invasion, especially after the changes that have been observed in the behavior of these insects due to climate change”.

The same speaker indicated that the desert locust is considered among the dangerous scourges threatening the countries of the region. This imminent danger must be addressed by early monitoring of locust population hotspots and their elimination in their breeding areas. “This obliges us to provide all the necessary means to explore them and an early intervention, in addition to joint and continuous monitoring between our countries in order to avoid invasions of swarms of locusts in the event that a high level of activity and movement would be recorded,” he said.

He stressed that this 10th session of the CLCPRO is of great importance, especially since it coincides with the 20th anniversary of the creation of the body officially operated in Algeria.

He indicated that the work of this session will focus on two main points: the evaluation of the work plan resulting from the previous session held in Njamena (Chad) in 2018, as well as the preparation of the work plan and budget 2022-2024. .

The joint meeting of the 10th session and the 15th meeting of the CPLPRO Executive Committee, whose activities will continue until December 1, saw the participation, in addition to the Executive Secretary of this committee, of the Coordinator of the Regional Office of United Nations Agriculture and Nutrition Organization (FAO), as well as the Acting Director of External Relations and International Cooperation at the Ministry of Agriculture, Foreign Affairs and National Community Abroad.

Ten African countries, represented by the secretaries general of the ministries in charge of agriculture, take part in this meeting, namely Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Chad , Morocco, Niger, and the directors general of locust control in member countries of the same body and other countries to join this committee, as well as several national and international organizations specializing in research and development, recalls -we.

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