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Garowe: Somalia declared the worst desert locust invasion in a quarter-century a national emergency that’s posing a major threat to an already fragile food situation.

Swarms of the insects are breeding in Djibouti, Eritrea and Sudan and have also spread to neighbouring Kenya and Ethiopia where they are devouring swaths of farming and pasture land.

Swarms of desert locusts fly above trees in Katitika village, Kitui county, Kenya, last week.

Swarms of desert locusts fly above trees in Katitika village, Kitui county, Kenya, last week.Credit:AP

Somalia requires surveillance, data collection, reporting and control activities to help contain the pests before the cropping season begins in April, the agriculture ministry said in an emailed statement.

“If we don’t act now, we risk a severe food crisis that we cannot afford by any means,” according to the statement. “Funding is urgently needed to be able to advance these efforts in time.”