Agriculture Ministry Seeks International Help on Locusts

YERUSHALAYIM -
Minister of Agriculture Yair Shamir. (FLASH90)
Minister of Agriculture Yair Shamir. (FLASH90)

Minister of Agriculture Yair Shamir has said that the locust infestation in southern Israel has reached “a turning point,” and that he intends to appeal to the U.N. for international assistance in getting rid of the plague.

The announcement comes after a spraying operation in March which failed to eradicate the crop-threatening locusts, and repeated complaints from farmers since then that the ministry has not done enough to protect their livelihood.

The Ministry of Agriculture declared on Sunday it was stepping up its war on the locusts, setting up a situation room to coordinate efforts with farmers and local councils for quick response to swarm sightings.

Shamir was reportedly also consulting with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon about getting clearance for aerial spraying in military zones and on the possibility of recruiting IAF planes for such operations.