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China Donates Locust Control Equipment, Insecticide

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Addis Ababa October 19/2020 (ENA) China donated today pesticides, sprayers and personal protective gears to assist Ethiopia in its campaign against the desert locust outbreak in the country.

The Government of China provided 72 tons of pesticides, 2,000 hand-held sprayers, and 20,000 personal protective gears.

The Chinese senior agricultural experts team on its part donated two cars to the Ministry of Agriculture.

During the handing over ceremony, Agriculture State Minister Mandefro Negusse said the materials will support the locust control operations in the country.

Desert locust is ravaging crops and fodder in Amhara, Tigray, Afar, Oromia, Somali regions, and Dire Dawa City Administration.

The state minister thanked the Chinese government for the support, especially to the agriculture sector.

“I’m grateful to you for donating to the Ministry of Agriculture these materials for the fight against desert locust and the vehicles for controlling the locust and other operations,” Mandefro said.

He noted that the ministry is fighting hard against the pest and the Chinese support is a special weapon to help them win in controlling the desert locust.

However, Mandefro urged the Chinese government’s continued support, especially in providing chemicals, as the ministry expects more locust invasion in the coming three months.

“Your support in terms of providing chemical is critical because chemical import and the procurement process can take quite some time,” he explained.

Ethiopia is getting more aircraft sprayers and vehicles and the support that China provides is a plus to the existing resources, the state minister said, adding that other form of cooperation like research, extension and other development projects from China are also appreciated.

Liu Yu, Economic and Commercial Counselor at the Chinese Embassy to Ethiopia, said China is committed to supporting Ethiopia in the battle to win the locust invasion and COVID-19 pandemic. “In both battles of anti- pandemic and locust, China has always been standing shoulder-to-shoulder, head-to-head with Ethiopia. China is the first country to supply medical products and medical experts,” she underscored.

Chinese President Xi Jinping in his telephone conversation with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in February this year learned about the locust invasion in Ethiopia and pledged to supply the anti-locust materials and to support Ethiopia in the fight against the locust invasion, Liu Yu stated.

“Despite domestic challenges brought by the COVID-19 epidemic, China completed the production of anti-locust materials within a short period of time, and shipped them by air to save time for the battle against the locust swarms,” she elaborated.

According to the counselor, China has been supporting Ethiopia’s agriculture sector by sharing experience and sending experts to build capacity in addition to providing equipment and material support to fight the locust and pandemic.

Since 2001, China has sent some 500 agricultural teachers to Ethiopia to support the agricultural technical and vocational training. The teachers have taught around 6,500 Ethiopian teachers and technicians, and 60,000 students.