Desert locusts (Photo: Ahram)
The Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture's Central Administration for Combating Agricultural Pesticides said on Sunday that it is intensifying efforts to curb the advance of locust swarms through the southern Luxor and Aswan governorates.
Swarms of locusts coming from Sudan appeared on Friday night in the southern border region, prompting the governor of Aswan to deploy pest control teams in Abu Simbel city and in areas east of Lake Nasser.
The governor has ordered all administrative facilities in Aswan to offer the necessary logistical assistance to the pest control teams.
"The Ministry of Agriculture is taking all necessary measures to control the locusts' advance into Egypt through 54 bases and central operation rooms," said Mohamed El-Qersh, spokesman of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Ahmed Ismail, director of Locust Control in Aswan, said that control teams have been deployed in Abu Simbel to inspect all crop plantations and determine the locations of the swarms.
Ismail attributed the appearance of the locust swarms to the start of their breeding season in the summer, from May to September.
The worst locust infestation in Egypt's modern history was in 1954, which resulted in the loss of nearly 250,000 tonnes of wheat.
Egypt witnessed other locust swarms coming from the Arabian Peninsula between 2007 and 2011, but they did not cause significant damage.