Locusts swarm Moruga – Crops in danger

Locusts swarm Moruga - Crops in danger

Farmer Bobby Ankarsingh holds a locusts on Friday, one from a swarm which has been feeding on their crops at La Fortune Trace, Moruga. An infestation of locusts has led to Moruga farmers raising concerns over their ability to supply produce in the coming months.

Clyde Ragbir, president of the Moruga Farmers’ Food Crop Association, said on Friday for approximately two weeks locusts have been feeding on the crops at La Fortune Trace, Moruga, commonly known as La Savan.

He said, “They are here by the millions. It is so bad that some farmers have lost their entire crops. Some farmers lost already $20,000 and $30,000 in production. It is so bad that they have destroyed entire fields, you barely could recognise what was planted…After they feed on the leaves of the plant they are actually feeding on the stalks of the plant and, by extension, even on the fruit, for example, pumpkin and paw paw, they are feeding on the fruit itself when there’s nothing else to feed on.”

Ragbir said with their produce eaten, there could be shortages. “We are the food basket of South and there would be a food shortage coming in the months of January, February and March because this would have been produce which would have been for January, February and March.”

He added that the price of goods could also increase.

There are approximately 80 farmers who cultivate sweet potato, watermelon, pumpkin, corn, melongene, tomato, sweet pepper, paw paw, ochro, hot pepper, pimento, cucumber and bodi in the area which spans 1,000 acres of land. Ragbir said the locusts have destroyed approximately 600 acres of crops. He explained. “There are areas that farmers may not be able to farm during the rainy season which might be just probably about 25 per cent of the thousand acres, so we are looking at probably in excess of about 600 acres they (the locusts) have already fed on. We are talking about 600 acres minus from feeding the nation for next year.” Farmer Rajesh Ramadhin points on Friday to his field at La Fortune Trace, Moruga which has been destroyed by locusts . He added that the invasion of the locusts is beyond the farmers’ control. The group of farmers said while officials from the Ministry of Agriculture have been spraying the insects, this is not being done at the correct times of the day. They said the spraying is […]

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