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The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that it is on high alert as the threat of desert locusts looms after recent heavy rains.

It reported that another shipment is expected to be delivered to the authorities in Sana’a soon. Equipment and machinery were delivered under the “Yemeni Desert Locust Response Project” funded by the World Bank.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, the FAO Representative in Yemen, Dr. Hussein Jadin, said that the project funded by the World Bank is a testament to the pivotal role of FAO in reducing malnutrition and food insecurity in Yemen through effective, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agricultural food systems.

According to the organization: “The project, along with other interventions we are implementing in the country, demonstrates FAO’s commitment to improving nutrition and food security, linked to sustainable production and decent livelihoods. This will ensure a healthy diet for all in Yemen. In addition, it is worth noting That through this project, we intend to improve infrastructure (building desert locust control centers and implementing pesticide management systems) and strengthening national early warning and early response capacity.

The project is also designed to build farmers’ resilience to a climate-induced locust infestation. The project works to improve the country’s preparedness and institutional capacity against locust outbreaks, through the establishment of the Desert Locust Network, including Desert Locust Centers in Sana’a and Aden.

It reported that there will be building sub-centers in Hodeidah, Shabwa and Hadramawt. It also supports the application of the early warning system in Yemen.

The organization confirmed that the machines delivered include four types of spraying machines. Each machine is suited to a specific type of locust infestation target, and operates under specific conditions. These machines are used to spray ultra-low pesticides (applied at an application rate of 1 liter per hectare). They can spray chemical and biological pesticides.

The machine includes a trolley-mounted sprayer, which is especially used for trees and shrubs; The vehicle-mounted sprayer can treat 100 to 120 hectares per day. The other type of machine also includes backpack sprayers used to spray small infested areas and the portable sprayer, which is used for small targets of locust infestations and treats 10 hectares per day.

Personal protective equipment to serve up to 4,000 people (overalls, masks, goggles, hats, boots and gloves) was also delivered with the machines. These will be used to protect workers while spraying pesticides.

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