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Bolivia: A resurgence of locusts threatens horticulture

The residents and authorities of the municipality of Cabezas in Santa Cruz are worried as the reappearance of millions of nymphs in the community of Tunalito are putting at risk around 20 hectares of vegetable crops.  

According to the Mayor of Cabezas, Rodolfo Vallejos, producers are alarmed because of the outbreak of this pest in the community near Rio Grande, and they are making great efforts to safeguard their crops.  

"The plague had disappeared. We thought we had finished it off, but this regrowth shows us that it is still here and that it seems to have already acclimatized to the area," Vallejos said, adding that there was an important quantity of eggs that were about to hatch if producers didn't perform soil removal work immediately.

Vallejos said that the fumigations had declined in relation to the first few months of the locust infestation. However, he said, the technicians of the municipality and the National Service of Agricultural Health and Food Safety (Senasa) had resumed their work to prevent the pest from expanding and growing.

He also said that if the insects became adults they would acquire the ability to fly, which complicated control tasks.

Vallejos said it was necessary to optimize the 59 million bolivians budget that the national Government has allocated for the implementation of the National Locust Control Program based on the experience acquired in the last months; especially taking into account the effectiveness of the application of Insecticides, as they could otherwise follow other less costly strategies.

Publication date: 4/20/2017


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