The Desert Locust is considered to be one of the most serious agricultural pests that have been known to mankind. Desert Locust upsurges and plagues can cause significant and widespread crop losses that may affect national food security and export of agricultural commodities. Consequently, extensive control operations are mounted whenever a local outbreak occurs, or if an upsurge develops. Applying chemical insecticides is still the principal approach used in Desert Locust control.
As with all use of insecticides, Desert Locust control may cause adverse effects on human health or the environment. However, such adverse effects can be minimized or avoided altogether through the proper use and management of insecticides before, during and after a control campaign.
Examples of such risk mitigation measures are, but are not limited to, the implementation of preventive control strategies and establishment of contingency plans, the choice of appropriate and low risk insecticides and application methods, training and monitoring of control staff, improvement of insecticide storage and transport, environmental and health monitoring of control operations, sound management of empty containers and left-over pesticides, and the development and promotion of biological pest control agents.
FAO Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Central Region and their member countries, have all been active over the last decade in implementing or strengthening such measures at the national and regional level.
The workshop on the Environmental and Health Standards for Desert Locust Control in the Central Region (EHS) will define the requirements that a Desert Locust control campaign should meet with the aim to minimize environmental and human health effects of insecticide use. The EHS will provide explicit benchmarks which Desert Locust control operations should comply with to ensure that environmental and human health effects are avoided or kept to an acceptable minimum.
Many of the standards defined in the EHS are already fully or partly met by countries; some may not yet have been implemented. But the EHS will provide a yardstick for countries to assess how well environmental and human health precautions are being put into practice, and to identify what measures are still needed to be strengthened or initiated.
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Source: FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) / . The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of Global Diaspora News (www.GlobalDiasporaNews.com).