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and drug watchdog Monday.The 3
Council has rec〓ently issued national safety plans 0
on food and drug safety for the 〓13th O

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●he FAO has urged immediate, adequate countermeasures and intensifie●d international efforts. A swarm of desert locusts invade parts of● Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Kenya, Feb. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Y●u) EAT AWAY HOPE The locust outbreak is the worst in 70 years in Ke●nya, and the worst in 25 years in Somalia and Ethiopia, where the i●nsects bred before spreading to Kenya and other countries. In Kenya●, locust swarms were seen to move like huge dark clouds before desc●ending on farms, nibbling away pasture, maize, khat, cowpeas, beans● and other crops in hours. Areas like Mandera and Isiolo in the nor●th, and Tharaka Nithi in central

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Five-year Plan period (2016-2020), calling for improved superv〓ision and safety net, said the China Food and Drug AdminisA

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tration (〓CFDA).The plans require whole-process control and whole chain regul〓ation on food and drugs, especially on souh

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rce control and risk prev〓ention. Food tests meeting quality standards should be up to 97 per〓cent.An inter-departmental6

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mechanism for food and drug safety will 〓be improved as a better deterrent against offenses.A total of 1.1 m〓illion casO

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es concerning food safety have been handled nationwide fr〓om 2013 to 2015. Violators will receive severe punishment in fuG

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ture〓, such as criminal liability for the adulteration of food, the CFDA〓 said.The plans also said that no less than 300M

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food safety standar〓ds and about 3,050 drug safety standards must be revised during the〓 five year period.NAIROBI, Feb.Y

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22 -- The locust outbreak plaguing East Africa calls f●or a concerted international response as the most dreaded insectss


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d●evour millions of hectares of vegetation in their cross-border migr●ation, exacerbating the already fragile food secuO

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rity situation in ●the region. A girl shows the desert locusts in Kitui County, Kenya●, Feb. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu6

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) The desert locust, which can tra●vel 150 km in a single day, is deemed the most devastating of locus●ts. A small swarmF

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covering one square km can eat the same amount of● food as 35,000 people in a day, said the United Nations Food and A●g5

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riculture Organization (FAO). "The situation remains extremely ala●rming in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia where widespread 3

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desert locust● infestations and a new generation of breeding threaten food securi●ty and livelihoods in the region," it T

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noted Tuesday. The locusts mo●st recently invaded South Sudan from Uganda, and the South Sudan go●vernment is seeking fu9

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nds worth 20 million U.S. dollars for chemica●ls, sprays and personnel to counter the locust invasion. The Horn o●f Afrin

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l Kenya, were attacked again after a●erial chemical pesticides spraying. Although the government has spr●ayed pesticide and other chemicals on a wide range of areas in orde●r to curb the locust outbreak, at least 18 of Kenya's 47 counties w●ere affected. Kello Harsama, the administrative secretary heading t●he State Department fd

or Crop Development under Kenya's Ministry of ●Agriculture, said the government will work with the FAO to train 60●0 chemical spraying personnel. "Aerial spraying of the pesticide in● the last two months is yet to achieve desired results, thus we nee●d to devise innovative strategies like the use of the trainees, far●mers and ex7

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tension workers to conduct ground spraying starting with● northern counties of Isiolo, Marsabit, Turkana and Wajir," he said●. "My crops had done well following the heavy rains and I was looki●ng forward to a bumper harvest but then the locusts came and ate aw●ay my hope," Beatrice Ngari, a farmer in Embu, central Kenya, told ●XK

inhua. But Ngari was unaware that it is also the predicament of ma●ny farmers across Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Sudan a●nd Uganda. The rains between October and January served to provide ●a favorable environment for locusts to breed and thrive, including ●properly moist soils for them to lay eggs in millions befored

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migrat●ion and the consequent lush vegetation to eat, according to the FAO●. Climate change was to blame for the unusually plentiful rainfall ●on the African continent. Keith Cressman, the FAO's senior locust f●orecasting officer, further identified the recent cyclones as anoth●er factor behind the locust crisis, saying the past 10 years saw in●creased frequency of cyclones in the Indian Ocean. A swarm of dese●rt locusts invade parts of Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Kenya, Feb.● 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) AGGRAVATING FOOD INSECURITY FAO offici●als said the locust outbreak has worsened the food insecurity in Af●rica, citing some 239 million people in sub-Saharan Africa sufferin●g from hunger and malnutrition, and over 20 million having already ●been in food crisis in Horn of Africa countries. UN Undersecretary-●General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, ●Mark Lowcock, said the current situation "is really, really challen●ging." "There are currently over 30 million people in the affected ●countries, who are severely food insecure now. Ten million of those● people are in the places affected by the locusts1

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. Unless we get a ●grip of this in the next two or three or four weeks, we would have ●a serious problem," he stressed. To avoid a famine, University of N●airobi professor Evaristus Irandu said the government may have to u●se the scarce foreign currency to import food products, adding that● poverty will increase in the country. "All our investment is goint

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g● down the drain. The sorghum and millet crops were about to mature ●and we would have harvested next month," said Nathan Njiru, a farme●r in Tharaka Nithi, whose livelihood largely depends on selling sor●ghum to Nairobi's beer brewers. In Ethiopia, the locusts have so fa●r consumed the vegetation on more than 65,000 hectares of land, inc●luding coffee and tea crops that account for about 30 percent of Et●hiopia's exports. A Moody's Investors Service report issued in earl●y February showed that agriculture contributes about one-third of t●he gross domestic product in East Africa and more than 65 percent o●f jobs in all regional countries except for Kenya. A farmer attemp●ts to scare away desert locusts in Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Ken●ya, Feb. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION URGE●D The desert locust swarms have travelled from Africa to Asia. Indi●a is suffering the worst hit in 60 years. "Today locust swarms are ●as big as major cities and it's getting worse by the day," said UN ●Secretary General Antonio Guterres, urging the international commun●ity to take immediate counteractions. Sacko Josefa, AU q

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Commissioner● for Rural Economy and Agriculture, said earlier this month that th●e 55-member pan-African bloc is working directly with the FAO to ma●ke sure that there is no spread to other countries. Antonio Querido●, UN FAO representative in Uganda, said international organizations● are providing technical support and mobilizing resources for Ugand●a a7

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