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t 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 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 locu3

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sts 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 predicament of many farmers across Kenya, Somalia, 〓Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Sudan and Uganda. The rains〓 between October and January served to provide a favo〓rable environment for locusts to breed and thrive, in〓cluding pro7

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tries, 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 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 currS

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ency to import food products, adding that p〓overty will increase in the country. "All our investm〓ent is going down the drain. The sorghum and 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 lN

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oc〓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 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 job2

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s 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. 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 6

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it's getting worse by the day,〓" said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, urging 〓the international community to take immediate counter〓actions. 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〓 countriez

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s. Antonio Querido, UN FAO representative in〓 Uganda, said international organizations are providi〓ng technical support and mobilizing resources 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 1

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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 effort 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 launch9

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ed 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 Lowcock. 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 lu

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ong run, experts have called fo〓r the investment in research to contain the impacts o〓f climate change, including the locusts invasion. A 〓swarm 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〓iformity7

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in progress," 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,l

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wi◆th ample 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 DaU

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peng) The 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 ol

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ur 'rice bowl,'" 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 noC

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vel ◆coronavirus 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 pr2

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oduction, including setting region-specific grain pl◆antation targets, offering subsidies for farmers and raising minimum ◆prices for state procurement of rice, which secured a good start this◆ year and would ensure stable grain prodM

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