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Economy

Ministry consultant to study harm of locusts, chemicals

Agriculture PS Hamadi Boga said the consultant sought would conduct a socio-economic survey to ascertain the extent of the damage to the crops by the migratory insects.
Agriculture PS Hamadi Boga said the consultant sought would conduct a socio-economic survey to ascertain the extent of the damage to the crops by the migratory insects. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Ministry of Agriculture is set to hire a consultant to undertake an impact assessment of the damage caused by locust amid claims that chemicals being used to curb their spread is harmful to other living organisms.

Agriculture PS Hamadi Boga said the consultant sought would conduct a socio-economic survey to ascertain the extent of the damage to the crops by the migratory insects.

The war on locusts has been going on since early this year using both aircraft and hand-held sprayers to curb their spread, raising environmental concerns.

“We are sourcing for a firm that will conduct a socio-economic survey to find out the impact on the ground. Government teams will also remain on the ground for three years to monitor the situation after all the locusts have been eliminated,” said Prof Boga.

“In science, we have what we call selective toxicity. What kills insects cannot kill mammals unless you take abnormal proportions. The quantities used in spraying locusts are minimal and targets insects,” he said.

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There have been reports that birds have become a causality of the pesticides used to tackle the insects.

Prof Boga said the ministry sent its officers on the ground to verify the claims and found no evidence to back the allegations.

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