Regular outbreaks of migrant pests such as armyworm, locust and quelea
threaten the food security within the Southern African Development Community
(SADC). To effectively manage these pests it is vital that there is timely
cross-border exchange of information and active co-operation with regard to pest
management. This project addresses the urgent need for a forum where all data
relevant to migrant pests can be effectively collated and distributed within the
SADC region. The use of electronic information systems will enhance regional
co-operation and improve the sustainable management of migrant pests.
The project collaborators include Natural Resources Institute (NRI (UK))
together with SADC: Crop Production Sector, International Red Locust Control
Organisation for Central and Southern Africa (IRLCOCSA) and responsible
Ministries of each SADC country. The project is funded by DFID (UK).
Weekly brown locust control data received from locust officers of the
National Department of Agriculture, based in the Karoo, is entered into a
database which correlates the number of locust targets controlled with locality
data such as the farm name and number. The intensity of control actions is then
mapped onto a quarter-degree grid. This database, along with climatic data is
being incorporated into a geographic information system (GIS) for use as a
locust outbreak "Early Warning System"