VIENTIANE, March 10 (Xinhua) -- The Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will attempt to destroy the eggs laid by yellow-spined bamboo locusts in northern provinces after eggs were found in 906 places in 553 villages, officials said.
The issue was discussed at a ministry meeting held in Lao capital Vientiane on Friday to summarise the work plan to prevent a repeat plague of locusts before their eggs hatched, local media reported Saturday.
Director General of the ministry's Department of Agriculture, Vilaysouk Khennavong, reported the findings of a survey conducted at the end of last year. Locust eggs were found in 906 places in the five provinces of Luang Prabang, Huaphan, Phongsaly, Xieng Khuang and Oudomxay.
"We will soon start to destroy these eggs to ward off another outbreak of yellow-spined bamboo locusts," local daily Vientiane Times quoted Vilaysouk as saying.
"In 2017, some 13,776 hectares of crops in these provinces were affected by locusts, of which 270 hectares were damaged. In 2016, locusts invaded 10,388 hectares of crops and 4,129 hectares were damaged," the director general said.
"We can protect 13,506 hectares of farmers' crops worth at least 53 billion kip (some 6.4 million U.S. dollars). Most of these crops are rice, sweetcorn, Job's tear, and grass grown to feed livestock."
Authorities have received cooperation, technical assistance, equipment and funding from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and from Chinese government to help control the locust outbreaks, said the report.