BEIJING — China unveiled its contingency plan on March 9 to monitor and control the spread of locusts from home and abroad, in a bid to secure grain production and ecological safety.
Regional governance and scientific prevention and control should be given priority, said the plan jointly issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the General Administration of Customs and the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.
The plan clarified the goal of locust control, which is to ensure that desert locusts from abroad will not cause harm and domestic locust outbreaks will not turn into a plague, with no more than 5 percent of crops affected.
Local authorities are urged to prevent the invasion of desert locusts from abroad. The plan requires that monitoring stations be set up in Tibet, Yunnan and Xinjiang on the potential migration routes of the destructive pests.
To control locusts in domestic agricultural areas, chemical control methods will be adopted for areas with a high density of the pests, while medium- or low-density areas will use biological and ecological control methods, the plan noted.
The plan also requires an investigation into the hidden dangers of grasshoppers in major grasslands in Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and Sichuan, and the strengthening of prevention and control at key points on the border between China and Kazakhstan, and that between China and Mongolia.
The rare desert locust outbreak in East Africa and Southwest Asia has posed a severe threat to local grain and agricultural production, which led to the desert locust plague warning issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Although experts believe it is highly unlikely that desert locusts will invade China, it is still necessary to take precautions, said the plan.