Desert Locust control operations in Yemen

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ID: 24748
Original Filename: FAOYemenLocustsVNR.mp4
Title: Desert Locust control operations in Yemen
Description:

The livelihoods of farmers and pastoralists in Yemen have been heavily affected by the ongoing

desert locust infestation. The ravenous agricultural pest has damaged crops in many areas of

the country putting a strain on thousands of people already exhausted by years of conflict.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is supporting Yemen’s

Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation in desert locust control operations through logistics and

by training field teams.

Desert locusts have also attacked crops of radish, onion, sesame, watercress and even date

palms, resulting in significant losses for farmers.

“Locust swarms have attacked the farms and did not keep any crop, and now they will eat the

animal’s fodder, which we use to feed our sheep” explains Musae’ed Mubarak Ali Al-Gunaimi, farmer and pastoralist from Hareeb Village, Ma’rib Governorate.

“Locusts have eaten everything in four days” says Hussain Mohamed Abdullah Al-Zubaidi,

farmer from Ar Rudud Village, Tarim Governorate, adding that: “they left nothing there but the

sticks”.

Yemen is a significant breeding ground for desert locust and controlling the infestation in the

country is crucial to prevent a new spread of the pest both in Horn of Africa and in Southwest

Asia.

FAO is supporting desert locust control operations through logistics, providing over 14,850 liters

of pesticide and by training 393 field teams in effective control techniques and health, safety,

and environment best practices.

“We suffered from the lack of potentials and financial support. However, we thank FAO for

their effort and the General Directorate for Plant Protection for facilitating this task for us”, says

Yasir Mohammed Saleh Ali, employee of the General Directorate for Plant Protection in the

Beiyhan District, Shabwah Governorate.

Unfortunately, not all areas of the country are accessible mainly due to the security situation,

giving the locusts the time and space for breeding.

Considered the worlds’ most damaging migratory pest, the desert locust can reproduce at

lightening pace given the right conditions. Each three months, a breeding cycle can see their

numbers grow by 20 times, exponentially.

Desert locusts target crops and vegetation used as forage by pastoralists’ herds, and they eat

their own weight a day (2 grams). There can be from 40 million to 80 million locust adults in

each square km of a swarm. Swarm sizes can range from under 1 square kilometer to several

hundred square kilometers. Just one small swarm (1 square km) has the potential to eat the

same amount of vegetation and crops in one day as 35,000 people.

Seasonal weather changes are now driving the voracious crop pest to move in search of green

vegetation to eat. In inland breeding areas where the last two years have been marked by good

rains, conditions have now dried out over the past month, reducing the amount of vegetation

available there. The migration of desert locusts to new areas is seeing an uptick of activity on

Yemen’s coast and other areas of the Arabian Peninsula. 

 [more like this...]
License type: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO
Credit: FAO
Country: Yemen
Size (cm): 640.23 MB; 1920 x 1080 pixels; 4 minutes 55 seconds;
Orientation: Landscape
Date Created: 30/10/2020 00:00:00
Dopesheet:

The livelihoods of farmers and pastoralists in Yemen have been heavily affected by the ongoing

desert locust infestation. The ravenous agricultural pest has damaged crops in many areas of

the country putting a strain on thousands of people already exhausted by years of conflict.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is supporting Yemen’s

Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation in desert locust control operations through logistics and

by training field teams.

Desert locusts have also attacked crops of radish, onion, sesame, watercress and even date

palms, resulting in significant losses for farmers.

“Locust swarms have attacked the farms and did not keep any crop, and now they will eat the

animal’s fodder, which we use to feed our sheep” explains Musae’ed Mubarak Ali Al-Gunaimi, farmer and pastoralist from Hareeb Village, Ma’rib Governorate.

“Locusts have eaten everything in four days” says Hussain Mohamed Abdullah Al-Zubaidi,

farmer from Ar Rudud Village, Tarim Governorate, adding that: “they left nothing there but the

sticks”.

Yemen is a significant breeding ground for desert locust and controlling the infestation in the

country is crucial to prevent a new spread of the pest both in Horn of Africa and in Southwest

Asia.

FAO is supporting desert locust control operations through logistics, providing over 14,850 liters

of pesticide and by training 393 field teams in effective control techniques and health, safety,

and environment best practices.

“We suffered from the lack of potentials and financial support. However, we thank FAO for

their effort and the General Directorate for Plant Protection for facilitating this task for us”, says

Yasir Mohammed Saleh Ali, employee of the General Directorate for Plant Protection in the

Beiyhan District, Shabwah Governorate.

Unfortunately, not all areas of the country are accessible mainly due to the security situation,

giving the locusts the time and space for breeding.

Considered the worlds’ most damaging migratory pest, the desert locust can reproduce at

lightening pace given the right conditions. Each three months, a breeding cycle can see their

numbers grow by 20 times, exponentially.

Desert locusts target crops and vegetation used as forage by pastoralists’ herds, and they eat

their own weight a day (2 grams). There can be from 40 million to 80 million locust adults in

each square km of a swarm. Swarm sizes can range from under 1 square kilometer to several

hundred square kilometers. Just one small swarm (1 square km) has the potential to eat the

same amount of vegetation and crops in one day as 35,000 people.

Seasonal weather changes are now driving the voracious crop pest to move in search of green

vegetation to eat. In inland breeding areas where the last two years have been marked by good

rains, conditions have now dried out over the past month, reducing the amount of vegetation

available there. The migration of desert locusts to new areas is seeing an uptick of activity on

Yemen’s coast and other areas of the Arabian Peninsula. 

Shotlist:

LOCATIONS: Various, please check shotlist

DATE: July 2020

SOUND: Natural / Arabic

LENGHT: 04’55’’

SOURCE: FAO

RESTRICTION: Please give on-screen credit to FAO

Ma’rib Governorate – Hareeb Village

1. Zoom in and pan left over a drying field infested with Desert Locust hopper bands

2. Camera moves through damaged leaves in a field

3. Zoom out from a farmer checking a damaged tree

4. Close up on a damaged tree leaf

5. Musae'ed Mubarak Ali Al-Gunaimi walks through an infested field

6. Close up on hopper bands eating leaves in a dry field

7. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Musae'ed Mubarak Ali Al-Gunaimi, farmer and pastoralist: “As for the damages, they are clear, as you can see, the locusts have eaten all the kinds of crops and left nothing. We do not have the means to protect our lands. People here depend on agriculture for their livelihood.”.

8. Desert Locust hopper bands on a plant

9. Desert Locust hopper bands jumping on the ground

10. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Musae'ed Mubarak Ali Al-Gunaimi, farmer and pastoralist: “Locust swarms have attacked the farms and did not keep any crop, and now they will eat the animal’s fodder, which we use to feed our sheep. We thank the organization and its staff for helping us”.

Shabwah Governorate – Beiyhan District

11. Desert Locust eating a leaf 

12. Desert Locust hopper bands on a plant

13. Desert Locust hopper bands on a tree trunk

14. Farmer walking on a field

Tarim Governorate – Ar Rudud Village

15. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Hussain Mohamed Abdullah Al-Zubaidi, farmer: “Locusts have eaten everything in four days. They have put their eggs in the sand. Day and night, they are still right there eating trees. They have eaten everything, they left nothing there but the sticks”.

16. Wide shot of a spraying vehicle in a field

17. Man wearing a protective suit spraying locusts in a field

18. Spraying equipment in operation

19. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Hussain Mohamed Abdullah Al-Zubaidi, farmer: “We want to say thank you FAO for your effort, God bless you for your response. The valley was much better than now, but after locusts have ruined it, most of the trees are gone. Vegetables are gone, most of the crops in the valley are gone, and the farming is over. We hope they continue the controlling operations, because there are still nymphs in the sand. If they don’t control them, all the crops would be lost”.

Shabwah Governorate – Beiyhan District

20. Man wearing a protective suit spraying locusts in a field

21. Close up on a spraying machine

22. Wide shot of a spraying vehicle in a field

23. Close up of a spraying machine at work

24. Spraying vehicle in a field

25. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Yasir Mohammed Saleh Ali, General Directorate for Plant Protection employee: “We suffered from the lack of potentials and financial support. However, we thank FAO for their effort and the General Directorate for Plant Protection for facilitating this task for us. God is willing, we will assume the responsibility and provide all we can. However, we still need an additional team because we couldn't cover the whole area. We couldn't cover all the area because we have only two cars here and one car for surveying”.

Ma’rib Governorate – Hareeb Village

26. Spraying vehicles arriving

27. Spraying vehicle at work

28. Close up on spraying machine

29. Various of men wearing protective suits and spraying locusts