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Desert Locust Management
Steen R. Joffe
Price: $ 22

World Bank Discussion Paper No. 284.

Plagues of the desert locust occur in one out of every six years, threatening vast areas that stretch from Mauritania to India and from Turkmenistan to Tanzania. Two major upsurges have occurred within the past 10 years. Development agencies, including the World Bank, have assisted the control efforts of affected countries. Financial assistance totaled some US$383 million during this period.

This paper highlights many of the issues associated with locust control operations. It examines the rationale for control in light of a realistic assessment of the risks to agricultural production and livelihoods. The study also looks at the reverse situation, in which a lack of readiness contributes to the "emergency" status of control operations. A leading proposal is that the strategy for control shift from prevention (which has not been possible so far) to integrated pest management, whereby a variety of means is used to keep economic, social, and environmental impacts below acceptable threshold limits.

The authors identify initiatives to be taken on the national, regional, and international levels. They also discuss the role of the international community, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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