Locust control panel marks 50th anniversary

Zainab al Nassri –
Muscat, Feb. 16 –

Along with other countries in the region, the Sultanate celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Central Region (CRC) on February 19 in a ceremony presided over by Dr Fuad bin Jaafar al Sajwani, Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries.
The Commission will hold its 30th session and 34th executive meeting in Muscat from February 20 to 24 with participation of officials from the member countries.
The Commission was established in 1967 and it is affiliated to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and based in Cairo, Egypt.
The Commission comprised 16 member states: Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Its function is to plan and promote research and training at national, regional and international levels. Its activities include survey and control of the desert locust to ensure preventive control strategy against desert locust infestations that might damage agricultural crops as well as graze lands. Hence, the Commission is contributing to food security and fight against hunger and poverty in Africa and the Middle East in particular in the Red Sea coast. The locust information offices in the front-line-countries; Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen receive and analyse data and ecology information and hence disseminate it to the concerned staff to undertake their control operations and other actions.
Reconnaissance and Management System of the Environment of Schistocerca (RAMSES) and eLocustv3, allows national survey and control officers in locust-affected countries to record and transmit data in real time via satellite from the field to their national locust centres to manage and analyse ecological, weather and locust data, including survey and control results in order to assess the current locust situation and determine the need for survey and control operations. In Oman particularly, the national Locust Control Unit is working under the umbrella of the Directorate-General of Agriculture Development of the Ministry of Agriculture in Muscat. The Locust Control Unit itself is closely collaborating with 41 Agricultural Development Centres of Batinah, Sharqiyah, Dakhiliyah, Dhahirah, Musandam and Dhofar governorates.