The ministry of agriculture’s battle against locusts had been successful this year but had cost the equivalent of US $20 million and left the country prone to other crop diseases, Kazakh commercial television reported this week. The director of the ministry’s plant protection department, Saktash Khasenov, said the services involved in fighting locusts this year had worked well but that, in concentrating on locusts, the ministry had not paid enough attention to other pests.
Large areas of crops, particularly, in northern regions, had been affected by field cutworm, but the ministry could not now find funds to tackle the situation, said Khasenov, adding that “next year ... there should be an all-round approach to the plant protection issue.” Keeping the locust threat at bay would cost Kazakhstan a further US $15 million to US $20 million in 2001, a substantial sum for a small country, the report added.
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