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Dept calls on NC farmers to report locust outbreaks in their areas

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The Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development says it has put measures in place to handle and fight the outbreak.

File image. Photo: Food and Agriculture Organisation @FAOKenya via Twitter

Farmers in the Northern Cape, especially in the Pixley Ka Seme District are advised to inform the provincial Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development should they experience an outbreak of locust in their areas.

The department said the country and some towns in the Province, which include, De Aar, Hanover, Carnavon, Loxton, Prieka, Britstown, Noupoort, Colesberg, Richmond and Victoria West are currently experiencing locusts outbreak and breeding.

Departmental spokesperson, Zandisile Luphahla said the department has put measures in place to handle and fight the outbreak.

The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, has announced that the country is currently experiencing outbreaks of locusts in the Northern Cape, Free State and Western Cape.

Control measures are being implemented to restrain the spread of the locusts further in the Province.

Farmers and farmer organisations are urged to alert the department whenever they spot these locusts and to work with government officials to curtail the spread.

“The department welcomes a team of specialists from the national department, who will work closely with the provincial departments, the entities, the Agricultural Research Council and farmer organisations, to curb the further spread of swam. Communities and farmers are advised to report the visibility of these swarm in their areas to Gert Greyvenstein on 082451 4860, Vuyokazi Mpumlwana on 084760 8176 and Dr Ikalafeng Kgakatsi on 072 198 9882,” said Luphahla.

He said the weather conditions in the Province also made it a convenient breeding area for the swarms.

“The strong winds experienced in the Northern Cape might exacerbate the spread of the locusts further. For years, the Northern Cape has been the breeding area for the brown locusts , especially the entire Karoo. Hence we advise farmers and farmer organisations to alert the department whenever they spot these locusts,” he said.