A report by Sandhya Santoo for Trinidad’s Express.
SWARMS of locusts have arrived in Piparo and have begun eating their way through the farmlands.
Farmer and resident at Johnstone Road, Richard Boodoo said he risks losing his fields of crops and little has been done by the Ministry of Agriculture to contain the situation.
Boodoo is calling for the Ministry of Agriculture to intervention and begin spraying pesticide in the area.
Boodoo said he has made numerous complaints to the Ministry for assistance, with no response.
“I have called so many times for them to come out to my side and they haven’t come. I don’t know what the y are waiting for but the locust will eat away everything that I have planted. I have fields of coconuts and hot peppers and I could lose it all. The locust eating away everything and Ministry isn’t doing enough,” he said.
Boodoo said he has been attempting to spray the pests himself but the pesticides is costly.
Chairman for the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation and councillor for Piparo Henry Awong said the situation is terrible and wants the Agriculture Ministry to ramp-up its spraying initiatives.
Awong said farmers are losing thousands of dollars.
“It’s really terrible situation right now, especially for farmers. They are losing money, thousands of dollars in crops because the locusts ae eating its way through the vegetation. It is not just Piparo but the surrounding areas as well being affected. I do see the Ministry of Agriculture workers spraying but what is being done is barely containing the locust. There needs to be another means to, possibly eradicate them. More has to be done, farmers are losing their daily source of income,” said Awong.
An official from the Ministry of Agriculture said spraying efforts are on-going in communities affected by locusts.