Locust breeding expected to rise

December 30, 2005

Locust breeding is expected to accelerate in the months ahead, the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization said in a bulletin Friday.

Hordes of locusts can precipitate food crises by devouring crops, the report said.

Earlier this year, Niger experienced the worst infestation of locusts in more than a decade, which combined with a drought left millions of people threatened with hunger and malnutrition.

Small swarms of locusts were present in India and Pakistan in early December, but adults that escaped control operations reached the spring breeding areas in western Pakistan by mid-month, the U.N. agency said.

Small-scale breeding continued in western Mauritania and southern Algeria where limited ground control operations were required in both countries, the report said.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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