DUSHANBE, April 4, 2011, Asia-Plus -- Minister of Agriculture Qosim Qosimov held a meeting of the republican commission for combating locusts on April 2, according to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA).

The meeting participants included representatives of the ministries of agriculture and finance, the committee on emergency situations, UN FAO CO in Tajikistan, heads of regional agriculture departments, the society of assistance to defense, and experts.

The source at a MoA says an appearance of locusts has already been reported in Khatlon’s districts of Rumi, Shahritous, Qabodiyon, Jilikul and Vakhsh as well in pastures of Roudaki and Tursunzoda districts.

“Local farmers are taking measures to prevent spread of the pests to other agricultural lands,” he said, noting that UN FAO CO in Tajikistan plans to provide technical and financial support to Tajikistan in combating locusts.

Qiyomiddin Ganiyev, head of the state unitary enterprise, Fight against Locusts, says they have treated 4,000 hectares of farmland to date.

Last year, locust infestations reportedly affected 105,000 hectares of lands in Tajikistan.