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UN: Desert shrimp threaten food security in East Africa

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has announced that Kenya’s “invasion” of desert locusts is the worst that has been seen in this East African country in the last 70 years.

At a press conference in the capital Nairobi, the FAO warned that the shrimp outbreak threatens food and livelihood security in East Africa and called for international assistance on the issue.

“We must act immediately and to the extent that we can fight and prevent this invasion. When the rains start in March there will be a new wave of shrimp breeding. Therefore, now is the best time to control flocks, secure food and avoid further aggravation of the food crisis, ”said David Phiri, FAO’s sub-regional coordinator for East Africa.

According to the UN, locusts traveled to Africa from Yemen, “invading” Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, destroying pastures and affecting the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of nomadic livestock farmers.

Billions of shrimp then migrated to Kenya in ruins, where they consumed tons of green vegetation, including grass, crops and tree leaves.

“It is very likely that South Sudan and Uganda are the next countries to be occupied by desert locusts,” said Guled Atan, a representative from the Intergovernmental Authority for Development, an African trade bloc.

Atan pointed out that fortunately for Kenya the “invasion” occurred shortly after the harvest was completed.

Director General of the Desert Shrimp Control Organization for East Africa (DLCO-EA), Steven Njoka, said planes have been dispatched to Kenya to spray pesticides on billions of shrimp.

To Kenyan residents who had posted on social media the solution to the invasion of shrimp by eating them, Njoka said, “Although they are a great source of food in the world, you cannot end up eating them, as they number in the billions and reproduce very quickly. ”

Under a worst-case scenario, when the current rapid growth of shrimp cannot be prevented and scars remain in the next harvest season, significant losses of harvest and pasture will cause food security in the affected areas to deteriorate. even further.

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