Anti-locust campaign kicks off in Samangan

Monitoring Desk

AIBAK: In response to grower concerns, a campaign for eradication of locusts attacking crops has kicked off in northern Samangan province, an official said on Tuesday.

Gulabuddin Ghayasi, plant protection manager at the agriculture and livestock department, told Pajhwok Afghan News the campaign had been launched in all parts of the province under threat.

Ghayasi said around 10,000 hectares of farmlands possibly infected would be sprayed with insecticide. He added 5,000 litres of insecticide procured by the department would be sprayed by five teams each having 10 members.

The drive would be implemented in Taikhonak, Rubatak, Manqutan, Achqadoq, Dasht Khairabad, Tangi Ajrim, Dasht Larzaghan, Laili Sai, Omly and Gawa areas of Hazrat Sultan district and parts of Khuram Sarbagh and Dara-i-Sauf Payeen.

He said the locusts appeared after the weather got warm and that was why the agriculture department had initiated the campaign. If the drive was not carried out, the pests would soon spread to all farms, he warned.

Shah Mohammad, 53, a resident of the Abdul Shakoor area of Aibak, said the locusts surfaced about 10 days ago. They are currently feeding on pastures.

He had cultivated 700 kilograms of wheat on 50 acres of rain-fed land. The grasshoppers, if not eliminated, would destroy all his farms, the grower feared, calling for timely action.