A mere 15 kilometres from the capital of Niamey in Niger,locusts have ben attacking and destroying the country's meagre crops.
GV PAN Lands with crops growing through barren soil
CU Locusts on crops
CU Farmer looking at damaged crops
CU Locusts on crops
CU & GV Farmer raking and hoeing dead crops (2 shots)
CU Locusts on plant
Initials CL/1900 CL/1910
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Background: A mere 15 kilometres from the capital of Niamey in Niger,locusts have ben attacking and destroying the country's meagre crops.
The blow is a severe one for a country only just beginning to recover from the worst drought in living memory. But Niger has a long history of locust plagues. One of the reasons is that the chief African outbreak area, the River Niger, flows across the southwestern corner of the country.
This s??? good rainfalls, the first in eight years, let the farmers plant their crops successfully. Then soon after the rains came the locusts.
The insects have terrorised African farmers for many years.Niger was one of nations which suffered badly in the 15-year locust plague which ended in 1943, having threatened the existence of thousands.
Five years later, the African Migratory Locust Organisation was set up to research the biological and ecological factors that govern the outbreak and distribution of the locusts. But although many researchers believe the war against locusts is being won, isolated outbreaks, as in Niger, still occur.
Locusts infest a vast area of Africa, the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent, but plagues will occur only in certain isolated areas.
A locust cats its own weight in food every day. It prefers grass but when a swarm starts, they will eat everything. In a square mile (2.6 kilometres) swarm there are up to 200 tons of the insects devouring enough food in a day for about 4,500 people.
Researchers now fear that the outbreak in Niger which has destroyed much farmland, will spread to neighbouring countries.