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Department for Crop 〓Development under Kenya's Ministry of Agriculture, sa〓id the government will work with the FAO to train 600〓 chemical spraying personnel. "Aerial spraying of the〓 pesticide in the last two months is yet to achieve d〓esired results, thus we need to devise innovative str〓ategies like the use of the trainees, farmers and ext〓ension workers to g

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conduct ground spraying starting wi〓th northern counties of Isiolo, Marsabit, Turkana and〓 Wajir," he said. "My crops had done well following t〓he heavy rains and I was looking forward to a bumper 〓harvest but then the locusts came and ate away my hop〓e," Beatrice Ngari, a farmer in Embu, central Kenya, 〓told Xinhua. But Ngari was unaware that it is also th〓e prm

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ndersecretary-General for Humanitari〓an Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Low〓cock, said the current situation "is really, really c〓hallenging." "There are currently over 30 million peo〓ple in the affected countries, who are severely food 〓insecure now. Ten million of those people are in the 〓places affected by the locusts. Unless we get a grip 〓of f

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this in the next two or three or four weeks, we wo〓uld have a serious problem," he stressed. To avoid a 〓famine, University of Nairobi professor Evaristus Ira〓ndu said the government may have to use the scarce fo〓reign currency to import food products, adding that p〓overty will increase in the country. "All our investm〓ent is going down the drain. The sorghum andz

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millet c〓rops were about to mature and we would have harvested〓 next month," said Nathan Njiru, a farmer in Tharaka 〓Nithi, whose livelihood largely depends on selling so〓rghum to Nairobi's beer brewers. In Ethiopia, the loc〓usts have so far consumed the vegetation on more than〓 65,000 hectares of land, including coffee and tea cr〓ops that account for about 30 0

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percent of Ethiopia's e〓xports. A Moody's Investors Service report issued in 〓early February showed that agriculture contributes ab〓out one-third of the gross domestic product in East A〓frica and more than 65 percent of jobs in all regiona〓l countries except for Kenya. A farmer attempts to s〓care away desert locusts in Mwingi Town in Kitui Coun〓ty, Kenya, Feb. W

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20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) INTERNATI〓ONAL COOPERATION URGED The desert locust swarms have 〓travelled from Africa to Asia. India is suffering the〓 worst hit in 60 years. "Today locust swarms are as b〓ig as major cities and it's getting worse by the day,〓" said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, urging 〓the international community to take immediate counter〓acz

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tions. Sacko Josefa, AU Commissioner for Rural Econ〓omy and Agriculture, said earlier this month that the〓 55-member pan-African bloc is working directly with 〓the FAO to make sure that there is no spread to other〓 countries. Antonio Querido, UN FAO representative in〓 Uganda, said international organizations are providi〓ng technical support and mobilizing resourci

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es for Uga〓nda as it strives to fight the locusts. In order to g〓et more international help, Somalia on Feb. 2 declare〓d the locust infestation a national emergency. Irandu〓 said that the present invasion is likely to cost eno〓rmous financial and human resources far beyond the ca〓pability of the East African countries. Hence there i〓s a need for a concerted effom

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rt by regional and other〓 international organizations to offer money, expertis〓e and equipment such as planes. Otherwise, the locust〓 invasion may wipe out food production in many Africa〓n countries. The FAO recently launched a 76 million U〓.S. dollars appeal to control the locusts' spread. We〓eks later, only around 20 million dollars have been r〓eceived, said LJ

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owcock. Irandu suggested that intensif〓ied international efforts should be made to coordinat〓e aerial sprays, share scientific knowledge on breedi〓ng and migratory habits of locusts, and raise funds f〓rom partners. In the long run, experts have called fo〓r the investment in research to contain the impacts o〓f climate change, including the locusts invasion. A 〓sf

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warm of desert locusts invade parts of Mwingi Town i〓n Kitui County, Kenya, Feb. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Y〓u) "People must be sensitized adequately on their rol〓es in adaptation and mitigation programs to ensure un〓iformity in progrH

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ess," said Edward Mungai, chief exec〓utive officer of Kenya Climate Innovation Center. BEIJING, April 4 -- Chinese officials said Saturday that the country c◆an hold firm its "rice bowl" despite the novel coronavirus impact, wi◆th ag

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mple grain reserves and measures to boost production. Aerial pho◆to taken on March 27, 2020 shows farmers harvesting Choy sum, or Chin◆ese flowering, in Damazhuang Village in central China's Henan Provinc◆e. (Xinhua/Feng Dapeng) TheL

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country has recorded a long streak of bum◆per years, with grain output reaching a record of 663.85 million tonn◆es last year. With measures to boost grain production "we have the co◆nfidence and determination to hold firm our 'rice bi

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owl,'" Pan Wenbo, ◆an official at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, told a ◆press conference. The bumper harvests supported the country's efforts◆ to boost social and economic development as well as fight the novel ◆cor3

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onavirus outbreak, Pan said in response to questions that whether ◆some countries' grain export ban would strain China's grain supply. P◆an said China has unveiled a series of "unconventional measures" to s◆tabilize grain production,8

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