Locust outbreak in 4 Iranian provinces probable: official

TEHRAN, Mar. 11 (MNA) – The Spokesperson of Iran Plant Protection Organization informed on Wednesday that, as predicted by Iran and FAO, four Iranian provinces may face locust outbreak in next few months.

"Southern Iranian provinces of Hormozgan, Bushehr, Khouzestan, and Sistan and Baluchestan are the ones expected to face the locust invasion," Mohammadreza Mir said.

As he informed, in the past year, 9 Iranian provinces, about 760,000 hectares of land, were invaded by locust swarms and the figure is expected to reach one million hectares by June, 2020, with the same number of provinces involved.

He named provinces of Kerman, South Khorasan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, and Ilam as the other provinces with the risk of locust outbreak.

Mir said there is also a high risk for Razavi Khorasan province if the swarms invade Iran from Afghanistan.

Presently, five provinces are dealing with the invasions.

Back in April, 2019, FAO experts 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.

As reported at the time, the locusts hitting Iran came from Oman and the UAE and mainly from Saudi Arabia.

In mid-February, FAO had sounded alarm on desert locust outbreak in northeast Africa and Saudi Arabia triggered by heavy rains.

MNA/4874500

News Code 156611

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