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FAO donates Shs.2 billion to fight desert locusts

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Kenya receives 2 billion shillings to curb ongoing spread of desert locust

The United Nation Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has donated additional an Shs.2 billion to help fight the spread of desert locusts.

Nationally, the locusts fighting kitty sums up Shs.4 billion, which will help curb the spread as farmers prepare land for planting.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS Net) said in a report that lack of enough capital hindered the procurement of necessary equipment in the fight against the locusts.

“Previously, funding was a major constraint to FAO’s procurement of pesticides and equipment for the surveillance and aerial and ground control of desert locusts,” read part of the report.

The report further affirm that “Donors have made contributions to the control efforts with 93 per cent of the required funds received,” explained the report.  “It is most likely that the impacts of the desert locusts will be significantly mitigated given the procurement of the necessary equipment for ground and air operations.”

Large swarms of desert locusts hit the country early January, spreading to nearly 20 counties.

The locust swarms, which matures and lay eggs, pose thread to farmers during this planting season.

The World Bank, in March 2020, approved the disbursement of Sh1.4 billion from the lender’s Sh25 billion Kenya Climate-Smart Agriculture Project to boost the fight against the pests.

An additional Shs.400 million from the African Development Fund was also received.