mVAM Afghanistan Ghor and Badghis provinces—locust infestation assessment - Locust Infestation Assessment Bulletin #1 - 30-31 May
The locust infestation affected the crops in Bala Murghab and Qadis districts of Badghis province and Chaghcharan and Dawlat Yar districts of Ghor province this year (2017).
Aforementioned districts in Ghor were also affected by locust last year. Compared to last year (2016), the impact of locust infestation this year (2017) is worse and more crops are affected in Dawlat Yar and Qadis districts, remained the same in Bala Murghab district, and had less impact in Chaghcharan district. The locust also had impact on the livelihoods and food security situation in the affected areas.
The locust will also have impact on the food availability and prices in the assessed markets. Besides, the farmers will have limited access to the seeds for cultivation next year as the result of the lack of production this year.
The main income sources of the people in the assessed districts are agriculture and livestock and the impact of the locust was mainly on those relaying on agriculture and livestock. The main prioritized needs of the affected population include but are not limited to pesticide in order to prevent the crops from locusts, trainings on manual (less or no chemical) locust control methods, financial support, seeds, and other agriculture inputs.
ASSESSMENT BACKGROUND AND METHODOLOGY
The locust infestation is a devastating natural disaster that has a negative impact on the crops and agriculture products. In Afghanistan, the locust infestation has been experienced in different parts of the country in the past and is continuously reported in the past few years in Badghis and Ghor provinces.
In 2016, a face-to-face locust infestation assessment was conducted by WFP VAM team with support from Food Security and Agriculture Cluster (FSAC) and Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) in Dawlat Yar district of Ghor province. The findings of the assessment indicated that 40 percent of the households in Dawlat Yar district reported between 75 to 100 percent loss of crops, another 40 percent reported between 50 to 75 percent loss of crops, and finally the remaining 20 percent of population reported between 25 to 50 percent loss of crops.
This year (2017), there were some initial indication and information from different agencies in Badghis and Ghor provinces related to the locust infestation in Bala Murghab and Qadis districts of Badghis and Chaghcharan and Dawlat Yar districts of Ghor province. The locust also affected crops in Jawand district of Badghis province but was not assessed due to lack of contact details of the farmers. WFP mVAM team conducted a mobile survey in the mentioned districts to assess the locust infestation in order to provide a snapshot of the locust impact on the upcoming harvest as well as the food security situation of the affected population in the assessed districts. A total of 24 mobile interviews (6 interviews per district) were conducted by the WFP call operators during 30 – 31 May 2017. The information in this assessment was collected from the farmers, Community Development Councils (CDCs) and Shura leaders.