Press Release

FAO Hands Over Seiyun Desert Locust Centre to Local Authorities

15 May 2024

Five Centres Constructed Under World Bank Funded Project


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) officially handed over a newly-constructed Desert Locust centre to local authorities in Seiyun, in Hadramout governorate in Yemen as efforts to control and manage the pest continue.

The Seiyun centre, constructed under the World Bank funded Desert Locust Response Project (DLRP), is one of the five centres aimed at improving Locust management in Yemen’s key breeding areas. This includes two main centres located in Sana’a and Aden, and three regional centres in Hodeida, Shabwah and Hadramout. The remaining four centres will be handed over to authorities in the coming weeks. 

Out of the five, two are main centres located in Sana’a and Aden, and three regional centres in Hodeida, Shabwah and Hadramout governorates. These five locations are key desert locust breeding areas in Yemen, and the construction of the centres allows better management and distribution of locust management resources. 

The centres include an administration block, resource warehouses, training centres, and Locust information offices. Locust management resources include survey tools and equipment, camping equipment, personal protective equipment, control equipment and accessories, as well as bio-pesticides. 

The new centres in Sana’a and Hodeida replace those that had deteriorated and lacked the minimum needs to perform the locust management properly. Aden did not have a main locust centre. Shabwah and Hadramout governorates did not have desert locust regional centres, which curtailed the control and management of the pest. 

Yemen is one of the most significant Desert Locust breeding reservoirs in the Near East region and the establishment of these Centres will mitigate pest outbreaks in the region and beyond.

His Excellence Salem Abdullah Issa Al-Soqotri, the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Fisheries Wealth expressed gratitude the World Bank for the financial support and FAO for its cooperation with the government during the implementation of this project.

“The work of the World Bank and FAO to improve the institutional capacity by constructing the five desert locust centres as well as a raft of other resources, trainings and awareness sessions has raised the ministry’s capacity to monitor, control and manage the pest which causes huge damages to crops and pastures each time there is an outbreak,” said the Minister.

FAO Representative in Yemen, Dr Hussein Gadain, said that the Centres were a testimony of how collaborations with the World Bank and the Yemeni authorities help to enhance food and nutrition security in the country. “We need to build firm first lines of defence against pests and diseases as we continue the journey of agrifood systems transformation. These centres that we are handing over today will play an important role in this regard and I am grateful that the World Bank has supported us in making this a reality,” said Dr Gadain.

Dr Gadain added that FAO has worked with the authorities to make sure that the centres will be sustainably managed.

Desert locust centres personnel will be involved in surveillance and control operations. Data are collected from the field and transferred to the main locust information offices in the main centres in Aden and Sanaa where the data is analysed and forecasting of locust situation is made to support planning and decision making. 

The data will also be shared from the main locust information centres to other countries in the region and to the desert locust information service in FAO. The information will be utilised for global locust analysis and forecasting, and this serves the global locust early warning.

Apart from the construction of the desert locust centres, the project provided support for early warning information through procurement and installation of six weather. Between 2021 and 2023, there was the execution of the field survey and control operations in Yemen.

Furthermore, the project conducted training on field survey and control operations, pesticide management, and applying environmental and health safety standards as well as awareness sessions with the community about locust impact on the agriculture and economy the risks of pesticides.


About the DLRP

There are three main components under DLRP. These components are survey and control measures, livelihood protection and rehabilitation, and improving the infrastructure and institutional capacity for locust control in Yemen. 


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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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