$1.03m required to curb locust break out in Iran

TEHRAN, May 13 (MNA) – “Some 150 billion rials (about $1.03 million) of finance is needed to combat the recent locust breakout in various provinces across Iran,” an official from crisis management office of Iran’s ministry of agriculture announced on Monday.

As Mohammad Mousavi informed, agriculture ministry is to grant new finances to combat the pest, in addition to the allocated 100 billion rials (about $689,600) recently ratified by the cabinet.

Several operations have been conducted to battle the swarms of locusts in eight provinces including Hormozgan, Sistan and Baluchestan, kerman, Bushehr, Khouzestan, southern parts of Fars, some parts in South Khorasan, and Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, he added.  

As Head of Iran Plant Protection Organization Mohammad Reza Dargahi said earlier, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is investigating the recent outbreak of desert locusts in the country.

FAO experts have traveled to Iran and the regional countries, from which the swarms of the locusts have come, to conduct the necessary studies on the main reasons behind the unprecedented outbreak, Dargahi added.

According to the official, the locusts hitting Iran have come from Oman and the UAE and mainly from Saudi Arabia, but it is too early to say whether there has been any intention behind the outbreak.

Dargahi confirmed locust swarms that have swept some 300,000 hectares of farming lands in six of Iran's southern provinces, adding that the highly-dangerous swarms “can threaten our food security if we fail to control it”.

HJ/FNA 13980223000467

News Code 145226

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