The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has warned of the possible invasion of desert locust in the West African Sub-region.
The agency assured that it will guarantee full implementation of both anticipatory and early actions to contain the pests
FAO Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr Fred Kafeero, issued the warning at the opening ceremony of the Capacity Building Workshop for Competent Authorities at National Level on the Best Practices for the Anticipation and Control of Desert Locust Invasion in West Africa and Sahel Sub-Region.
Kafeero who doubles as the FAO Representative to the Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS) pledged technical assistance to member countries to strengthen regional coordination aimed at arresting the situation before escalating.
Represented by the Assistant FAO Representative (Programme), Abubakar Suleiman, the Country Representative noted that the framework will contribute to saving the livelihoods of the affected populations and to increase their resilience to the desert locust invasion.
“It is in view of implementation of this anticipatory and early actions that a technical cooperation project titled ‘Capacity building of ECOWAS in prevention, surveillance and control of the desert locust as well that the analysis of its impact on Food security and nutrition in the Sahel during the COVID-19 pandemic’ has been developed to be implemented with the support of FAO in collaboration with the Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development, ECOWAS Commission.
“The project is to provide technical assistance and build and strengthen the locust surveillance and control capacity of targeted countries including Cameroon, Gambia and Nigeria in the area of preparedness and anticipatory actions to prevent the desert locust invasion.”
Kafeero however expressed worries over the disturbing state of pest invasion in the Sub-region which has adversely affected crop and animal production as 40 per cent of losses in crop production and 25 per cent in animal production are a result of invasion.
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