Samangan farmers fear locust threats
AIBAK (PAN): Despite recent anti-locust campaigns, farmers in northern Samangan province still fear locust swarms may destroy their crops next year.
The plant protection manager of agriculture department, Gulabuddin Ghyasi told Pajhwok Afghan News that the campaigns to eradicate the pest started in April this year in the Aibak city, Hazrat Sultan and Dara-i-Sawf districts and concluded last week.
Nearly 40,000 hectares of farms had been protected from locusts as a result of the campaign, launched by 10 professional staff of the department and along with 500 volunteers from the different areas of the province, he said.
Wheat crops have been protected from locust threats, so crops would have more production, a farmer of Hazrat Sultan district, Habibur Rahman, 45, said.
The insects were eradicated from the area as a result of the campaign, but locusts from the mountains of Kunduz province have invaded the area and laying millions of eggs that would damage the crops next year, he added.
More than 5,000 acres of wheat crops had been protected from locusts by the campaign, said another farmer from the Taikhonak village on the outskirts of Aibak, Sofi Rahmatullah, 59.
An employee of the agriculture department, Abdul Ahmad, confirmed the insects are migrating and started to lay eggs.
Locusts have migrated from the Gabar desert, of Baghlan Province, Chuchal mountains of Kunduz province and Khairabad desert of Balkh province -- to the cleared areas in Samangan and laying eggs, he added.
According to agriculture officials, currently the campaign against the insects was difficult because now locusts are able to fly, but they have planned to start similar drive next year.
The life span of locust is about 1.5 month to 2 months but unable to fly in the first 40 days of their life.
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