Locust infestations pose a serious challenge for Tajikistan’s agriculture threatening food supply and livelihoods.  The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been supporting Tajikistan’s locust control strategy to reduce the infested areas.

Today, farmers in the southern province of Khatlon complain about locusts.  In Hisor Valley and in the northern province of Sughd, mass locust infestations have not yet been reported.

In Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, locust egg hatching was reportedly registered in the second and third ten-day periods of March.  

In later March, 2,600 hectares of farmlands in Tajikistan were treated to protect them from locust infestations.

FAO has predicted that hopper development followed by fledging will continue in Khatlon province and districts subordinate to the center in April.

In Sughd province, locust egg hatching reportedly began in the second half of April.  

According to the latest data from the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), 8,500 hectares of farmlands in Panj district and 7,100 hectares of farmlands in Panj district (both districts are located in Khatlon province) have been treated.  

A press release issued by a MoA says, “It should be noted that locusts are mainly found in pastures, and fortunately, to date, they have not affected the crop fields.” 

Farmers of some districts, including Kushoniyon and Shahritous in Khatlon, however, complain about locust infestations on their crops.  

Locust is a terrifying enemy for farmers, threatening livelihoods of rural population. They multiply rapidly and travel up to 30 kilometers a day with the capacity to destroy crops and pastureland on the way.

An assistance to the State Unitary Enterprise (SUE) “Locust Control Expedition”, which is responsible for locust management in the country, in the form of technical knowledge and skills, as well as equipment to control locust infestations, having been delivered by a regional FAO project strengthening regional coordination and efforts against locusts.

The project aims to enhance food security and livelihoods of rural populations in Central Asia by preventing and limiting the threats posed by locusts and damage to crops and rangelands in the respect of human health and the environment.

The project involves all Central Asian countries, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as Afghanistan with financial support from Japanese government and Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to increase national capacities and develop regional cooperation.