FAO leases aircraft for Ethiopian desert locust control
Photo Source: www.fao.org
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With the support of the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (UN CERF), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (UK DFID), MasterCard, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have provided funding.

During a ceremony held during the handover of the first single-engine turboprop aircraft, which arrived in the land on 6 March 2020, Dr Kaba Urgessa, State Minister of Agriculture, appreciated the help given for the FAO and said “the government was using five aircraft, but they are not enough. It is the most cost-effective method for timely use of pesticides and is useful for short-term conditions. The turboprop will fly at 180-200 km per hour for over four hours. They can hold 1500 liters of pesticides, so that in one flight they can handle up to 1500 hectares.

FAO also offers spray and survey tools, protective clothing, pesticides, diesel, vehicles and motorcycles with funding from various donors. The Group also supports the government to train Scouts who conduct field spraying and monitoring. FAO supports efforts to organize and inform communities about the date, time and place of the control operations in particular in areas sprayed with pesticides, so that their cattle, beehives and families migrate to safety. In order to protect livelihoods and encourage the early recovery of the communities affected, FAO will supply livestock feed, agricultural inputs and cash transfers to farmers and pastoralists. Dr. Urgessa pointed out that cross-border sailing movement has been reported in neighboring areas in Somalia and Kenya, “it is important that control interventions between affected countries are coordinated.”

The organization has established the Desert Locust crisis as one of its top corporate priorities and is moving rapidly towards support to the government, Fatouma Seid, FAO Representative in Ethiopia, said. “It would not be possible to remove it entirely. But if we increase control operations, we can reduce crop and vegetable damage and avoid food crises, “she said.

FAO Ethiopia has received support from Africa Solidarity Trust Fund, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, DEVCO, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, MasterCard, the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance of the United States, Swedish International Development Corporations Agency, United Nations CERF, UK DFID, and USAID, as well as internal aid to expand desert lure operations in Ethiopia. Such countries include the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the governments of Belgium and Germany (funded by the Central Region Desert Locust Control Committee). Negotiations with other donors are in advanced stages for additional funding.

Data Source: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and APO

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