Caution: Locust Control Operations and Infestation Trends in Turkmenistan

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a specialised agency of the UN, published a bulletin in June 2023 titled “Locusts in Caucasus and Central Asia”. It gives an overview of the locust situation in various regions of Central Asia and the Caucasus in May 2023. The bulletin reports the presence of three types of locusts in the region: Moroccan Locust (DMA), Italian Locust (CIT), and Migratory Locust (LMI). The report provides updates on their hatching, hopper development, and control operations in different countries. Locust bulletins of Central Asia are usually published by FAO on a monthly basis from March/April to August of every year.

The situation was critical in Afghanistan and Tajikistan in early May, and it was classified as “danger”. In Turkmenistan, the locust situation in May 2023 was classified as “caution” due to the presence of the Moroccan Locust (DMA). The locust control operations in Turkmenistan covered an area of 13,891 hectares in May, bringing the total treated area since the start of the 2023 campaign to 39,090 hectares. It is a 40% increase compared to the same period in 2022 (23,747 ha).

In May, locust hopper surveys were conducted in Turkmenistan, covering a total of 73,600 hectares across various regions. Overall, both locust infestations and population densities were higher compared to the previous year. Control operations were conducted using two types of sprayers: vehicle-mounted and tractor sprayers by applying insecticides that contained alpha-cypermethrin and lambda cyhalothrin as active ingredients. Looking ahead, it is forecasted that DMA mating and egg-laying in Turkmenistan will occur in June, and the control campaign will conclude.

Mission of the FAO Geographic Information System (GIS) Expert conducted on 15-18 May 2023 in Ashgabat and Ak Bugday district, Ahal region. Moreover, FAO scheduled to organize the training of trainers on locust management in Turkmenistan in June 2023.

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