Meteorology and desert locust: Experience and implementation of a monitory system

Brahim Ambar
Office National de la Meteorologie, O.N. Meteo, B.P. 153, Dar El Beida, Alger, Algeria. Fax: +213-2-508-849

The permanent threat of the locust invasion and damages caused to the agriculture and to the ecological system by the last generalised plague during the period 1987/1989 has conducted the National Meteorological Office of Algeria, in close co-ordination with the National Institute for Plant Protection and the Commission for Control Locust in the North West Africa of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (F.A.O) to establish a specific program to contribute to a better management for the locust control system.

This program is structured as follows: a) Establishment of a national climatic network (automatic stations) to complement the network in Central Sahara. b) Establishment of a specialised centre (Tamanrasset) to complement the permanent locust watch (monitoring) system to improve the aerial assessment of the rainfall and of air corridors for the development and progression of the desert locust (vegetation index).

The implementation of this program, during recession periods as well as during plague periods, has led to a better management of the control system especially for the preventive control.