WINDHOEK, Sept. 16 — Namibia received a consignment of plant health surveillance and control materials, as well as locust spraying equipment worth 1.6 million Namibia dollars (about 110,300 U.S. dollars) from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
The consignment which includes items such as pest traps and killing agents will aid Namibia to prevent and contain transboundary plant pests and diseases such as the tomato leaf miner, fall armyworm, fruit flies and banana fusarium wilt, among others, FAO representative to Namibia Farayi Zimudzi said.
“In the same vein, the locust support is aimed toward further strengthening the capacity of the plant health unit and its regional extension staff within the country’s 14 regions so that they can be ready to combat the outbreak of locusts at any time,” she added.
On receiving the donation, Namibia’s Agriculture Ministry executive director Percy Misika said transboundary plant pests and diseases have caused significant damages to crop production, resulting in severe adverse impacts on livelihoods, food security and nutrition, and the national economy.
“The equipment could not have come at a more opportune time and will enhance our efforts to rapidly respond to pest outbreaks,” he said, adding that the ministry will establish a surveillance mechanism as well as early warning and forecasting systems which are important to alert government and farmers about the presence of pests.
The ministry in April reported that a locust outbreak invaded seven regions and destroyed more than 700,000 hectares of land. – Xinhua