Kazakhstan Intensifies Measures to Combat Locust Outbreaks

ASTANA — Several regions of Kazakhstan have suffered from gregarious locust outbreaks this year, which pose a danger to farmland and crops. Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister Serik Zhumangarin convened a meeting of the central operational headquarters on June 10 to address insect control measures, reported the Prime Minister’s press service.

Photo credit: gga.org.

All regions are constantly monitoring the situation and instantly redeploying equipment and additional volumes of pesticides to areas where treatment must be intensified.

Heat and the spread of locusts over an additional 60,000 hectares complicate the situation in the Turkistan Region. As of June 10, some 45,300 hectares of them have already been processed.

According to Svetlana Yatsyuk, a candidate in agricultural sciences and a specialist at Shchelkovo Agrokhim-KZ LLP, there are three types of gregarious locusts in the country. Tengrinews reported on June 11 that during their years of mass reproduction, they pose a special danger to crops, pastures, and hay harvest.  

“They are Italian, Asian and Moroccan locusts. All three of these species are included in the list of especially dangerous locust organisms. The national budget allocates funds to combat them. Mass breeding of locusts can destroy all herbaceous vegetation, leaving agricultural producers without harvest. Of course, this is fraught with serious economic losses,” Yatsyuk said.

The peculiarity of the gregarious locust species is that they have a cyclical development with pest outbreaks occurring around once every 10 years.

According to Yatsyuk, the extermination measures were launched throughout the country on time.

“All preparations for controlling and destroying these three varieties of harmful locusts were purchased and planned ahead of time. All this is being done quite quickly this year,” Yatsyuk said.

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