Subject: Timor Leste invited to join fight against locusts
The Jakarta Post
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 12:29 AM
Timor Leste invited to join fight against locusts
Tue, 02/24/2009 12:59 PM | The Archipelago
KUPANG, East Nusa Tenggara: The Belu regency administration has invited Timor Leste to jointly fight attacks by locusts that are threatening thousands of hectares of rice paddies and corn fields.
The pest attacks are feared to devastate upcoming harvests in Belu and the western part of Timor Leste, Joni Padatu, head of the Belu Agriculture Office, said Monday.
"The locusts do not understand boundaries, as they hop from one place to another, so the problem must be jointly curbed before the locusts breed and spread to other areas," he said.
He emphasized the importance of joint handling, saying it would be meaningless if the fight was conducted only by one side.
"If the pests are effectively curbed in Belu but continue spreading in the neighboring country, it will be useless, as the locusts can easily emigrate there," he said.
Last year, thousands of hectares of rice paddies and corn fields in five regencies in East Nusa Tenggara were attacked by the locusts, causing massive harvest failure. - JP