In Chad, representatives of nine west African nations have been meeting to discuss ways of improving and protecting their expanding agricultural industries.
In Chad, representatives of nine west African nations have been meeting to discuss ways of improving and protecting their expanding agricultural industries. Agricultural produce still accounts for more than 30 per cent of the gross national product in many African countries and several of them have been getting together to work out a regional approach to the complex problems confronting the industry today. One such working group is the Common Organisation Against Flying Pest who've just concluded their annual meeting in Chad capital of N'Djamena.
SYNOPSIS: Of most concern to the delegates this year has been the growing threat of locusts, now affecting a large part of West Africa. Locusts live almost entirely on grain seeds and plants. And in the bread-basket belt of West Africa, an uncontrollable plague of locusts and other pests could mean certain disaster if nothing is done about it quickly. Chad's Minister of Agriculture, Major Roasngar told delegates that the organisation was fighting in difficult conditions over an immense are covering four million square kilometres (1.560.000 miles). The struggle against the moving enemy he said is becoming very costly.
The Chad Minister also called for the further development of the further development of the river basins and expressed the wish that the organisation would someday include all the members of the Organisation of African Unity in the fight against underdevelopment.
The President of the West African organisation, Cameroon Agriculture Minister Mr. Gilbert Tsoungui, said top priority must be given to the fight against the pests which included not only locusts but rats and grain eating birds as well.
Other matters discussed included the 1978 research and training programme and proposals for increased agricultural productivity.