ASUNCION – The Paraguayan government on Wednesday declared an emergency in Alto Paraguay and Boqueron, two provinces in the Chaco region, and stepped up efforts to contain a locust outbreak that has not yet caused major agricultural losses.
“The goal is to prevent the spread (of locusts) from those areas to other more productive regions in the Chaco, which is one of the dairy farming areas in the country,” National Plant Quality and Health Service expert Nelson Fariña said.
The 60-day state of emergency declaration opens the way for operations to interfere with the locusts’ reproductive cycle.
The locusts are in nine major swarms moving across a 100-kilometer (62-mile) swath of land roughly 35 kilometers (22 miles) from the border with Bolivia, where the insects have caused more damage.
The locusts entering Paraguay spawned in late January in Bolivia’s Santa Cruz province, that country’s main farming region.