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locusts mo●st recently invaded South Sudan from Uganda, and the South Sudan go●vernment is seeking funds worth 20 million U.S. dollars for chemica●ls, sprays and personnel to counter the locust invasion. The Horn o●f Africa is faced with unprecedented challenges of food securitD

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y an●d economic development, with a humanitarian crisis looming ahead. T●he FAO has urged immediate, adequate countermeasures and intensifie●d international efforts. A3

swarm of desert locusts invade parts of● Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Kenya, Feb. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Y●u) EAT AWAY HOPE The locust outbreak is the worst in 70 years in Ke●nya, and the worst in 25 yeZ

ars in Somalia and Ethiopia, where the i●nsects bred before spreading to Kenya and other countries. In Ken7

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ya●, locust swarms were seen to move like huge dark clouds before desc●ending on farms, nibbling away pasture, maize, khat, cowpeas, beansT

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● and other crops in hours. Areas like Mandera and Isiolo in the nor●th, and Tharaka Nithi in central Kenya, were attacked again after a●erial chemical pesticides spraying. Although the government has spr●ayed pesticidu

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e and other chemicals on a wide range of areas in orde●r to curb the locust outbreak, at least 18 of Kenya's 47 counties w●ere affected. Kello Harsama, the depenEistrative secretary heading t●he State Department for Crop Development under Kenya's Ministry of ●Agriculture, said the government will work with the FAO to train 60●0 chemical spraying personnel. "Aerial spraying of the pesticide in● the last two months is yet to achieve desired results, thus we nee●d to devise innovative strategies like the use of the trainees, far●mers and extension workers to conduct ground spraying starting with● northern counties of Isiolo, Marsabit, Turkana and Wajir," he said●. "My crops had done well following the heavy rains and I was looki●ng forward to a b3

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umper harvest but then the locusts came and ate aw●ay my hope," Beatrice Ngari, a farmer in Embu, central Kenya, told ●Xinhua. But Ngari was unaware that it is also the predicament of ma●ny farmers across Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Sudan a●nd Uganda. The rains between October and January served to provide ●a favorable environment for locusts to breed and thrive, including ●properly moist soils for them to lay eggs in millions before migrat●ion and the consequent lush vegetation to eat, according to the FAO●. Climate changu

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e was to blame for the unusually plentiful rainfall ●on the African continent. Keith Cressma6

  • eeting quality standards should be up to 97 per〓cent.An inter-departmental mechanism for foo
  • od and drug safety will 〓be improved as a better deterrent against offenses.A total of 1.1 m〓illion cases concerning food safl
  • ety have been handled nationwide fr〓om 2013 to 2015. Violators will receive severe punishment in fP
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n, the FAO's senior locust f●orecasting officer, further identified the recent cyclones as anoth●er factor behind the locust crisi0

  1. uture〓, such as criminal liability for thex
  2. adulteration of 3
  3. food, the CFDA〓 said.The plans also said that no less than 32
  4. 00 food safety standar〓ds andQ

s, saying the past 10 years saw in●creased frequency of cyclones in the Indian Ocean. A swarm of dese●rt locusts invade parts of Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Kenya, Febp

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.● 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) AGGRAVATING FOOD INSECURITY FAO offici●als said the locust outbreak has worsened the i

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g safety F 100 50 Yes
standaI 200 25 No
rds must E 400 08 Yes

food insecurity in Af●rica, citing some 239 million people in sub-Saharan Africa sufferin●g from hunger and malnutrition, and over 20 million having already ●been in food crisis in Horn of Africa countries. UN Undersecretary-●General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, ●Mark Lowcock, said the current situation "is really, really challen●ging." "There are currently over 30 million people in the affected ●countries, who are severely food insecure now. Ten million of those● people are in the places affected by the locusts. Unless we get a ●grip of this in p

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the next two or three or four weeks, we would have ●a serious probx

lem," 9

he stressed. To avoid a famine, University of N●airob0

i professor Evaristus Irandu said the government may have to u●se the scarce foreign currency to import food products, adding that● poverty will increase in the country. "All our investment is going● down the drain. T8

he sorghum and millet crops were about to mature ●and we would have harvested next month," said Nathan Njiru, a farme●r5

in Tharaka Nithi, whose livelihood largely U

admin

ds on selling sor●ghum to Nairobi's beer brewers. In 8

Ethiopia, the locusts have so fa●r consumed the vegetation on more than 65,000 hectares of land, inc●luding coffee and tea crops that account for about 30 percent of Et●hiopia's exports. A Moody's Investors Service report issued in earl●y February showed that agriculture contributev

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s about one-third of t●he gross domestic product in East Africa and more than 65 percent o●f jobs in all regional countries except for Kenya. A farmer attemp●ts tou

scare away desert locusts in Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Ken●ya, Feb. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION URGE●D The desert locust swarms have travef

lled from Africa to Asia. Indi●a is suffering the worst hit in 60 years. "Today locust swarms are ●as big as majore

cities and it's getting worse by the day," said UN ●ST

ecretary General Antonio Guterres, urging the international commun●ity to take immediate couT