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10/16/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/16/2021 03:28

World Food Day: Airbus’ H125 helps protect East African crops from desert locusts

The 2020-2021 desert locust crisis has been devastating due to favourable weather conditions, resulting in the destruction of East Africa's crops and food resources. Combatting it requires 24/7 surveillance to spot the swarms of insects and their non-flying offspring in the act of devouring fields of grain and coffee.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization is behind efforts to monitor and fight the locust outbreak, and is drawing on numerous resources, including a trio of Airbus H125 rotorcraft operated by Savannah Helicopters - which won a tender in collaboration with Zemen Flying Services, a local Ethiopian operator, to conduct survey flights in Ethiopia to locate the insects.

Locust swarms in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya hitch a ride on eastern winds, moving across the region in numbers that reach 50 million per hectare. Covering several hectares, the locust threat to human food security is high.