The department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development wishes to urge farmers to report locust swarms, especially in unoccupied farms.
The country has been experiencing a locust outbreak since September 2021 after the rains received from August in the Karoo region of the Eastern, Western and Northern Cape. The department has appointed and trained locust control contractors in all areas which have experienced locust outbreak. All these contractors were provided with insecticide, spraying pumps and protective clothing to enable them to control the outbreak.
“The challenge towards our locust control campaign is unreported locust swarms in unoccupied farms, game and environmental parks. These unreported locust swarms go unnoticed and end up growing and becoming adults and fly to the crop and pasture land and cost extensive damage” said DALRRD Media Liaison Officer and Spokesperson Reggie Ngcobo.
Ngcobo said the department is appealing to all farm land owners, especially those who are not staying on their farms to go and inspect the presence of locust on their farms and report them to the department or to their agricultural unions.
The department is equally making an appeal to members of the public to assist in reporting these locust swarms, where they see them to their nearest office of the Department of Agriculture.
“We wish to applaud the commando system used to control locusts which is a working relationship between Agricultural unions and government,” said Ngcobo.
The country experienced the outbreak of locust every 10 years as the last outbreak was around 2010. The department has, in the main, appointed farmers as locust control contractors as they are on the farms on a daily basis. The good working relationship between the farming community and the department is assisting a lot in the fight against these locust swarms.
Ngcobo said: “As we enter the festive season, together with control contractors, we will continue to ensure that controlling of locusts swarms get our undivided attention. The locusts are now in a mixed stage, adults ones will follow the wind to move from one province to another”.