Assistance to FAO's Desert Locust Control Projects in Chad, Mali and Mauritania

September 14, 2004

  1. The Government of Japan has decided to extend Grant Aid for Increase of Food Production amounting to 330 million yen to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for Projects on Desert Locust Control in Chad, Mali and Mauritania. Notes to this effect were exchanged on September 14 (Tue) in Rome between Ms. Nobuko Matsubara, Japanese Ambassador to Italy, and Mr. David Harcharik, Deputy Director General of FAO.

  2. As a result of abundant rainfall in the summer of 2003 throughout Northwest Africa, unusual breeding of the desert locust took place and locust swarms moved up to the Sahel Region (south of the Sahara Desert) during June and July 2004, causing enormous agricultural and other damage in the affected countries.

  3. In response to the situation, FAO requested Japan to assist its projects to control desert locusts in most-seriously affected Chad, Mali and Mauritania. Besides spraying pesticide and other chemicals to get rid of locusts, FAO intends to carry out a year-long monitoring to study the environmental effect of the spraying and to investigate three years to come up with an early warning system to detect and control locust breeding and possible alternative measures to the spraying of pesticide.

  4. Based on a comprehensive review of the Grant Aid for Increase of Food Production in December 2002, the Government of Japan has taken the stance of not providing agricultural chemicals in principle except when it would be implemented in appropriate manner by international organizations, from the viewpoint of proper use and environmental considerations. The Government of Japan, however, has decided on this assistance in light of the seriousness of the locust disaster and FAO's deliberate planning of the projects. It is expected that Japan's assistance for FAO's project will alleviate further agricultural damage in Chad, Mali, Mauritania and other countries in Northwestern Africa.

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