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NC dept warns of brown locust outbreak

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The Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform has warned of a brown locust outbreak that is escalating in various parts of the Province

Brown locusts are swarming the Karoo region. Picture: The Food and Agriculture Organisation

THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform has warned of a brown locust outbreak that is escalating in various parts of the Province, especially in the Pixley ka Seme District along the Karoo belt.

Department spokesperson Zandisile Luphahla said on Thursday that most of the areas were affected by adult locusts.

“There were also new reports of a new generation of locusts (hoppers).

“So far 33 farming towns are affected by the outbreak.”

He added that the department had procured two helicopters to assist with aerial spraying, especially in areas most affected and not easily accessible.

“One helicopter is stationed in Upington for the western farming towns, while the second one is around De Aar for the farming towns in the eastern parts.

“We are working with our stakeholders such as farmers’ unions and individual farmers to combat the spread.”

Luphahla stated that they had managed to remove hoppers from the roads in areas in the Pixley ka Seme and ZF Mgcawu districts, especially on the N10 and N12 highways.

“We have started to train more farmers to be able to assist with the control of locusts. Areas that have been trained from last month are Warrenton, Jan Kempdorp, Prieska, Niekerkshoop, Kliprand, Vosburg, Carnarvon, Britstown and surrounding areas.”

He added that the department worked with stakeholders to assist with the aerial spraying in the most-affected areas such as Marydale, Groblershoop and Kenhardt.

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