Isolated clouds of African migratory locusts swarming in the sky were spotted in the Gonarezhou National Park last week, sparking fears of a locust attack that has not been seen in Zimbabwe for years now, a senior Government official said.

Dr Cames Mguni, director of the Department of Research and Specialist Services in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement said on Tuesday that the isolated swarms were witnessed in multiple locations that included Gonarezhou National Park which shares its border with Mozambique, Save Conservancy and various parts in Chiredzi before they disappeared.

“Swarms of locusts were first spotted at Gonarezhou National Park on June 22 and 23 before they flew in different directions in and around Chiredzi,” he said.

“Our plant protection teams are on the ground now trying to locate their breeding grounds and raising awareness among local communities to be on the lookout for them. There was no damage on the crops and what they saw was the last stages of the locusts.”

The Agriculture Ministry has since dispatched teams to control the pests which pose a huge threat to the sugarcane plantations and other winter cropping activities in the Lowveld region, south of the country.

state media