Locust Plague in Bolivia Triggers State of Emergency

The Bolivian government has declared a state of emergency over a locust plague that is affecting their agricultural regions near Santa Cruz.

The government has announced that a $700,000 fumigation is underway in order to prevent further damage.

The Bolivian government has declared a state of emergency, as a vast agricultural area in Santa Cruz is affected by a plague of locusts.

The State of Emergency

A swarm of locusts emerged over a week ago, around 60 miles south of the eastern city of Santa Cruz- Bolivia’s largest city and the region where most of the country’s food and meat is produced.

Now, locusts are about 18 miles from the city, and are spreading fast. The locusts have reportedly destroyed pasture and fields of corn and sorghum.

According to authorities, locusts have destroyed over 1,000 hectares of agricultural land.

The Bolivian President, Evo Morales, has declared a state of emergency and announced a contingency plan on getting rid of the locusts, including a $700,000 fumigation plan. He is expected to visit Santa Cruz on Friday, February 10th.

Datatech software posted on Twitter, saying: “Locusts Destroy 2,700 Acres of Farmland in Bolivia.”

The Fumigation Plan

“We will create a 500-metre-wide ring around the area affected and fumigate inside, working alongside the local authorities,” said Bolivia’s Agriculture Secretary, Mauricio Ordonez. The government has announced extensive fumigation will begin right away, as they fear locusts will reach the breadbasket region, which supplies over 80 percent of Bolivia’s food.

Recent Locust Plagues

About a couple of weeks ago, locusts had destroyed 700 hectares of palay and farmlands- around P20 million worth of crops- in T’boli, a South Cotabato town.

“The infestation was very damaging to our farmers, and most of the crops affected were in their vegetative and reproductive stages,” said Barry Lugan, the T’boli municipal agriculture officer. Fumigation took care of the locusts, and the problem was contained.