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Jul 14, 2020

Agriculture Sector Threatened by Swarm of Locusts

In the west, locusts ravaging farmlands in Peten, Guatemala are near the border. They are about seventy miles away and making their way across Central America.  In Guatemala, Prensa Libre is reporting that since Friday ‘large amounts of locusts have invaded cultivated fields, mainly corn and grasslands, putting the production of basic grains and livestock feed at risk. It’s just a matter of days or even hours before the swarm of locusts arrive on Belizean farmlands. Area Representative for Orange Walk South, Jose Abelardo Mai says this spells death for the country’s already weakened agriculture industry.

 

Jose Abelardo Mai, Area Representative, Orange Walk South

“This would be the last shot to kill the industry. These animals what we locally know as crickets worldwide they are known as locust. These animals weigh two grams and they can consume hundred percent of their body weight daily.  A cloud of eight million locusts would devour hundred tons of leaves in one day. Everything that is green would disappear.”

 

Hipolito Novelo 

“What can the farmers do?”

 

Jose Abelardo Mai

Jose Abelardo Mai

“Well there is not much we can do in Belize. We have to understand the life cycle of these locusts, their habit migrating. The first thing we need to do is monitoring and surveillance. We need to report if there are any swarms in the area. To be honest in order parts of the world in other parts of the country they use insecticide with airplanes but at this time what you call outbreak and they move in huge clouds so it is very difficult to control.”


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