The management of St. Lucia News Online sincerely apologises to its readers and advertisers for the reduction in news updates over the past weeks due to issues beyond our control that we can not legally/personally disclose at this time. Thankfully, there was no downtime but we regret the lack of updates due, to as mentioned, issues beyond our control. We thank you for your patience as normalcy is being restored to our daily coverage.

Locusts invade Trinidad farms

By Radhica De Silva

 Share This On:

A swarm of locusts hover over an agricultural estate at La Fortune Trace Moruga. * Photo:  RISHI RAGOONATH

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — Ex­ten­sive spray­ing has start­ed in a bid to erad­i­cate swarms of lo­custs which have al­ready de­stroyed sev­er­al acres of crops at Mendez Vil­lage, Pe­nal.

Res­i­dent Hem­raj See­lal said the lo­custs have been feed­ing off trees in the forests since Jan­u­ary but over the past month, they have start­ed de­stroy­ing fields of peas, cas­sa­va, ochroes and bo­di.

“They eat­ing up the ochro trees. We are fac­ing a lot of loss­es right now,” See­lal said on Mon­day.

Farmer Raithraj Sook­nanan said mil­lions of lo­custs have hatched in the Pe­nal forests and were gob­bling acres of veg­e­ta­tion.

“The swarms are con­cen­trat­ed in the forests near the Bun­see Trace vol­cano. I plant five acres of land in that area and the lo­custs eat­ing out every­thing,” Sook­nanan said.

He said on Sun­day he bought an in­sec­ti­cide and sprayed his fields.

“The rain fell to­day but we still see­ing thou­sands of them on the ground. They com­ing in­to my gar­den. They eat out all the cas­sa­va, bo­di and ochroes. It is very frus­trat­ing for us,” Sook­nanan said. He not­ed a meet­ing was held with agri­cul­tur­al ex­ten­sion of­fi­cers last month and promis­es were made that the en­tire area will be sprayed.

“That was about a month ago. This looks like a new set that hatch out be­cause they very small and they are stay­ing close to the ground,” Sook­nanan said.

Farmer Randy Seenath said the Min­istry should be spray­ing con­sis­tent­ly.

“The lo­custs usu­al­ly re­main in the land for a month. They need to be spray­ing reg­u­lar­ly to make sure that peo­ple’s crops are not dam­aged,” Seenath said.

Chair­man of the Pe­nal/Debe Re­gion­al Cor­po­ra­tion Dr Allen Sam­my said they were still do­ing an as­sess­ment of the sit­u­a­tion.

Coun­cil­lor Diptee Ram­nath said the lo­custs have been plagu­ing farm­ers for sev­er­al years but with­in re­cent times the swarms have been ap­pear­ing more fre­quent­ly.

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Clarence Ramb­harat said the swarms were not un­usu­al.

He said spray­ing start­ed on Sun­day and will con­tin­ue.

Pe­nal is not the on­ly area in­fest­ed with lo­custs.

The Min­istry said it has been mon­i­tor­ing lo­custs in­fes­ta­tions at Pi­paro, St Mary’s Tabaquite, Mayo, New Grant, Princes Town, Man­ta­cool, Table­land, Pe­nal Rock Road, Tor­tu­ga, Mamoral, Bar­rack­pore, Moru­ga, Es­mer­al­da, Cara­po, Williamsville, Gran Cou­va, Cachipe, In­di­an Trail, Ed­ward Trace and Watts Road.

Last year, sev­er­al parts of Point Fortin al­so re­port­ed lo­custs in­fes­ta­tions.

Two types of lo­custs have been iden­ti­fied in Trinidad. These in­clude the Ce­dros lo­cust which is larg­er in size, has small­er swarms and is less de­struc­tive.

The oth­er is the Moru­ga lo­cust which is small­er in size, has larg­er swarms and is more de­struc­tive.

This article was posted in its entirety as received by This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of, its sponsors or advertisers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.