Malawi has a high concentration of red locusts in the Southern Region and if left unchecked until the next rainy season, it may affect field crops, a study has warned.
The study conducted in March this year, indicates that the locust is highly concentrated in the Lake Chirwa and Chiuta plains mainly in places far from residential and farming areas where it continues to breed.
Â International Red Locust Control Organisation for Southern and Central Africa (IRLCO-CSA) country representative Ken Ndalama, whose organisation conducted the survey with the Ministry of Agriculture, told Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Monday that the situation is not critical.
Â â€œAn immediate action can save the situation because if left until this yearâ€™s first rains, it may degenerate and destroy newly grown crops,â€ said Ndalama.
He said IRLCO-CSA and the Ministry of Agriculture intend to carry out an immediate intervention.
Â â€œThe ministry has assured us that it has already stocked pesticides such as Green muscle and Metalizium which are environmental friendly chemicals for the exercise to be undertaken soon,â€ he said.
The Lake Chilwa- Chiuta Plains were identified by IRLCO-CSA as red locust outbreak areas of Malawi and Mozambique.
Â Other areas in the south of the Sahara affected by red locust include Wembere plains, Malagarasi basin, Iku-Katavi plains and Rukwa valley in Tanzania, Mweru waNtipa and Kafue flats in Zambia and Buzi-Gorongosa plains in Mozambique.â€”Mana