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15,000 hectares of farmland cleared of locust in Samangan

15,000 hectares of farmland cleared of locust in Samangan

May 21, 2017 - 15:35

AIBAK (Pajhwok): More than 15,000 hectares of farmland has been cleared of grasshoppers in northern Samangan province, local officials said on Sunday.

Plants Protection Manager at Agricultureinfo-icon and Livestock Department Gulabuddin Ghayasi told Pajhwok Afghan News an anti-locust campaign, launched on April 1, would continue for 75 days or Jun 25.

He said six teams involving 90 workers were fighting against the grasshoppers in parts of the Taikhonak area of the provincial capital and Hazrat Sultan and Dara-I-Sauf districts.

He added nearly 16,000 hectares of farmland had been cleared of grasshoppers during the ongoing complain over the past 50 days.

Some of the teams have been able to conduct the campaign in areas under Talibaninfo-icon control. They have cleared hundreds of hectares of farmland with the help of Taliban.

Ghayasi said the locust had laid eggs on 25,000 hectares of farmland in Taikhonak, Sharikyar, Rubatak and Akhta Khana areas of Aibak and Laili Sai, Ach Qodoq, Kahodara, Qalin Qodoq, Omli, Alsha, Dasht-I-Larzghan, Qara Taba areas of Hazrat Sultan, as well as parts of Dara-i-Sauf Payeen district last year.

Ghulam Nabi, an officer of the department who is currently combating locusts in Taliban-held areas, said the militant group had tasked locals with helping the anti-locust campaign.

Farmers and livestock owners in Samangan are happy about the campaign, acknowledging the drive had helped keep their wheat crop from being damaged.

Abdul Majeed, an officer of the agriculture and livestock department, said the lifecycle of a grasshopper was 60 days and a couple of them were able to lay 100 eggs in three phases for the next year.

He admitted the number of grasshoppers was increasing with each passing year and each batch contained millions of insects that could damage hundreds of hectares of land in a short period of time.

The locusts also destroy pastures and inflict huge losses on growers, he added.


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