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“No real damage from locusts, monitoring still ongoing,” says agricultural authority

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Posted: Monday, July 20, 2020. 4:35 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) said today that Belize had very limited impact from the recent appearance of Central American locusts, but that precautions are still being taken.

BBN spoke with Francisco Gutierrez, Director of Plant Health Services and Acting Managing Director of BAHA, who explained that the authorities responded to reports made by farmers in Spanish Lookout last week of locusts in the area, which prompted an assessment.

“The damage caused by the pests there was very minimal, actually it was a fraction of an acre, perhaps that was affected. It was a very small area in a relatively large acreage of farm in the north of Spanish Lookout in the Yalback area,” Gutierrez said.

He went on to say that the conclusion drawn was that of a localized occurrence of locusts since the pests are native to the region and have been present in Belize over the years, with some instances occurring in the same area where the recent discovery was made. Contrary to reports from Mexican news sources, there was not a swarm that had passed over Belize.

“It is not a pest that really likes the more humid regions of Central America, it prefers the dryer areas; the Pacific Coast of Central America from northern Costa Rica to Guatemala. So we are not really in that high risk belt,” he added.

Gutierrez went on to say that despite the relatively low threat, authorities are still monitoring the areas to ensure that if there are any sightings, the situation can be addressed immediately.

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