Kazakstan Government Braces for Locust Onslaught
Associated Press, May 2, 2000
Kazakstan is bracing for summer swarms of locusts like the ones that damaged crops and caused widespread disruption in the Central Asian country last year, officials said Tuesday. Prime Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev discussed anti-locust preparations at a cabinet meeting Tuesday and said that 1.86 billion tenge (dlrs 13 million) was being appropriated for pesticides and other measures, more than three times the amount spent last year. The economically hard-pressed former Soviet republic wants to avoid a repeat of last year's locust infestation, when the voracious insects covered some 9 million hectares (22 million acres) of land. They spread to southern Russia, affecting areas that had not had locust problems since the 1920s.