The Russian government will contribute $10 million to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to be used to aid East Africain the fight against the desert locust crisis.
Kenya is set to receive Sh300 million ($3 million). ”We are grateful to the Russian Federation for its contribution to help fight the alarming impact of the Desert Locust upsurge. It will help efforts to stop the spread of the locusts and to safeguard the livelihoods of farmers and their families who are at risk from this scourge,” said FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu.
Kenya is experiencing its largest invasion of Desert Locusts in decades. This is the most destructive migratory pest in the world and can form dense and highly mobile swarms capable of covering a distance of up to 150 km in a single day.
FAO had warned of a strong second wave of desert locusts brought by the recent rains. “Kenya is currently facing a very serious and complex challenge that combines COVID-19 pandemic related health crisis exacerbated by the disruption of international cooperation and the continuing devastating locust invasion that threatens to undermine the nation’s food security. This situation requires a comprehensive response,” a statement read in part.
FAO warned that the swarm of locusts could swell and spill over into more countries in East Africa if efforts to deal with the pests are not massively scaled up across the region
“Farming communities in the country have already been impacted by extended droughts and we need to help them get back on their feet once the locusts and Covid-19 are gone,” said UN Resident Coordinator to Kenya Siddharth Chatterjee.
The assistance package includes surveillance and control operations, pesticides and their means of delivery (agricultural leases, mobile and portable sprayers), as well as food, fodder and seeds for farmers and pastoralists. So far FAO has received $117.3 million in donations from national governments, foundations and other organizations but there is a shortfall of $35.9 million.
Kenyan Business Feed is the top Kenyan Business Blog. We share news from Kenya and across the region. To contact us with any alert, please email us to [email protected]