Times of Oman
Price in RO
24ct / gm
22ct / gm
Forex Rates vs R01
Back to Homepage
Oman's farmers brace for loss as locusts ruin crops
Saleh Al Shaibany
May 18, 2014 , 10 : 02 pm GST
SAVE THIS ARTICLE
The ministry will continue to spray environment-friendly pesticides throughout the summer to control the spread of locusts in wadis, farms and even mountains. Photo - Fatma Al Busaidi
Farm and fishery vital for Oman's economy
Thyme farming a boon for Wadi Bani Khalid villages
Farmers are bracing for one of the worst years when it comes to their harvests as large swarms of locusts have been devastating their crops and the damage is likely to run into millions of rials.
Oman's farming industry revenues are worth OMR45 million a year, according to the official statistics but farmers say their earnings for 2014 will be severely hit as swarms of locusts are nibbling away at their produce and in some areas even blocking the irrigation channels.
"Locusts are eating away almost everything in my farm. I had a total of about three tonnes of vegetables and fruits last year but this time around, I will have almost nothing," Faraj Al Salmi, a farmer at Ibri told the Times of Oman.
Other farmers say that the aflaj system (water channels) used for farm irrigation has been totally blocked by dead locusts.
"The government is helping out by spraying chemicals from the air but dead locusts fall in our aflaj and clog up the channel and the pumps. It is becoming very expensive to hire vehicles to bring water into our farms on a daily basis," Salim Al Lamki in Rustaq said.
The ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is recording the location of locust nests and egg laying pattern. Officials are also testing eggs in the laboratory to help assess the size of the likely locust problem in the summer and the following fall. There had been extensive egg-laying in Dhahirah, Sharqiyah and interior regions, according to officials of the ministry.
The ministry will continue to spray environment-friendly pesticides throughout the summer to control the spread of locusts in wadis, farms and even mountains. Farmers are concerned that the pesticides will contaminate the soil and poison their crops but the ministry assured them that the chemical spray is organic.
Help to farmers
"Pesticides used in all areas of Oman are safe and will not harm vegetation, crops or animals. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has been working with the United Nations' agencies and regional countries to control the problem. We are giving farmers all the help they need," a statement issued by the ministry said.
The Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) is using helicopters to locate the areas swarmed with locusts and spray the pesticides from the air. Since May, more breeding grounds have been discovered and efforts are on to contain the problem and prevent it from spreading.
To get in touch with the reporter:
Rate this Article
Rates : 2, Average : 5
Post a Comment
Did you like this section? Leave a comment!
Your Name :
Your Email Address :
Your Comment :
Enter Image Text:
Back to Article
May 20 at 12 : 25 am
Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. 3 Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth.
May 19 at 4 : 53 pm
Bait Locust is the only answer .
Latest in this section
‘Minerals sector in Oman vital to economy’
Italian ship’s visit to boost bilateral ties
I write stories to make people happy, says Chetan Bhagat
Oman art: Boshudhara Mukherjee’s conversations with canvases
Pharmacies in Oman get five days to fall in line on drug prices
TOP RATED ARTICLES
Hamad is Oman Air’s new country manager
Times News Service
Oman crime: Masked men stab Omani on road
FAHAD AL MUKRASHI
Oman to host summit for offshore industry experts
Times News Service
Take Away Art Project : French organisation hopes to unite Omani, French artists
Now, writers tell stories at Wattpad as readers go mobile and social
More in News
It's Different! Discovering pop legend Michael Jackson's popularity in rural India
Bucharest 'khans' reborn after decades of neglect
More than just a moustache - Adolf Hitler vs Charlie Chaplin
Urban gardens greening Berlin rooftops, airfield
Tips for writing a good article
More in Features
The world must wage an intellectual war to defeat Isis
There isn’t any moderate opposition in Syria now
The cost of destroying Isis will be enormous
Oman’s conclusive reality — towards regression or triumph?
Being introvert isn’t a flaw of character
More in Columns
Copyright © 2012 Muscat Press & Publishing House SAOC. All rights reserved. Times of Oman is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
For reprint rights contact:
TOO Online Editorial