US embassy cable - 02ROME1963

FAO LOCUST CONTROL EFFORTS IN AFGHANISTAN

Identifier: 02ROME1963
Wikileaks: View 02ROME1963 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Rome
Created: 2002-04-22 04:50:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: EAID EAGR AORC EAGR AORC FAO UN EAID FAO UN
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ROME 01963 
 
SIPDIS 
 
FROM U.S. MISSION IN ROME 
 
STATE FOR IO AND SA/PB 
USAID FOR AA/DCHA, AA/ANE, DCHA/FFP, DCHA/OFDA, USAID/KABUL 
AND USAID/ALMATY 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        ROME  01963  01 OF 02  221426Z 
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH/USAID 
BRUSSELS FOR KFULLER AND KDEBLAW 
USUN FOR LSHESTACK 
NSC FOR JDWORKEN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EAID, EAGR, AORC, EAGR, AORC, FAO, UN    EAID, FAO, UN 
SUBJECT:  FAO LOCUST CONTROL EFFORTS IN AFGHANISTAN 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
1.  U.S. MISSION REPRESENTATIVES MET WITH FAO LOCUST EXPERTS 
ON APRIL 17 TO DISCUSS FAO LOCUST CONTROL ACTIVITIES IN 
AFGHANISTAN.  FAO PROVIDED A STATUS REPORT ON LOCUST CONTROL 
BY PROVINCE AND DISCUSSED CONCERNS OVER PRESSURES, IN CERTAIN 
AREAS OF AFGHANISTAN, FOR FAO AND COOPERATING PARTNERS TO 
PROVIDE FOOD TO FARMERS AS PAYMENT FOR PARTICIPATING IN 
MECHANICAL LOCUST CONTROL.   U.S. MISSION OPINED THAT UNDER 
"NORMAL" CONDITIONS FOOD IN EXCHANGE FOR LOCUST CONTROL MAY 
NOT BE A GOOD IDEA IN TERMS OF SUSTAINABILITY;  HOWEVER , 
AFGHANISTAN MAY BE A SPECIAL CASE WHERE THIS OPTION SHOULD  BE 
CONSIDERED TO AVOID A SERIOUS OUTBREAK.  FAO AGREED TO MONITOR 
THE SITUATION CLOSELY AND TO PROVIDE U.S. MISSION/USAID WITH 
FREQUENT UPDATES ON THE SITUATION. FAO ALSO EXPRESSED THE NEED 
FOR DONOR SUPPORT OF A LONGER-TERM LOCUST CONTROL EFFORT IN 
THE REGION.  END SUMMARY. 
 
---------- 
BACKGROUND 
---------- 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        ROME  01963  01 OF 02  221426Z 
 
2.  ON APRIL 17 THE U.S. MISSION'S HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS 
ATTACHE, TIM LAVELLE AND PROGRAM SPECIALIST JANE STANLEY MET 
WITH THE FOLLOWING LOCUST EXPERTS IN FAO'S PLANT PRODUCTION 
AND PROTECTION DIVISION: DR. ABDERRAHMANE HAFRAOUI, HEAD OF 
THE LOCUST, OTHER MIGRATORY PESTS AND EMERGENCY OPERATIONS 
GROUP; DR CLIVE ELLIOTT, SENIOR OFFICER FOR MIGRATORY PESTS, 
AND DR. ANNIE MONARD, LOCUST CONTROL OFFICER.   DR. MONARD WAS 
IN AFGHANISTAN IN FEBRUARY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DESIGN OF 
CURRENT LOCUST CONTROL ACTIVITIES. 
 
3.  AS BACKGROUND, FAO ADVISED THAT THEY SUCCESSFULLY 
IMPLEMENTED MECHANICAL LOCUST CONTROL ACTIVITIES IN 
AFGHANISTAN FROM 1990 TO 2000, AND PROVIDED A SIGNIFICANT 
AMOUNT OF TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND TRAINING TO LOCAL FARMERS 
AND AFGHAN AGRICULTURE OFFICIALS DURING THIS TIME PERIOD.  FAO 
DID NOT PROVIDE LOCUST CONTROL ASSISTANCE IN 2001 AND 
THEREFORE THERE ARE NO RECENT SURVEYS OF THE EXTENT OF THE 
PROBLEM.  IN 2001,  WFP DID SUPPORT SOME MECHANICAL LOCUST 
CONTROL ACTIVITIES UNDER A FOOD FOR WORK ACTIVITY IN BAGHLAN 
PROVINCE. 
 
--------------------- 
THE CURRENT SITUATION 
--------------------- 
 
4.   FAO STATED THAT A TOTAL OF 90,000 COMMUNITY MAN-DAYS HAVE 
BEEN MOBILIZED TO DATE FOR MECHANICAL LOCUST CONTROL EFFORTS. 
FAO IS NOT CURRENTLY PROVIDING FOOD AS PAYMENT FOR LOCUST 
CONTROL. THERE HAD BEEN SOME RESISTANCE TO THIS IN BAGHLAN 
PROVINCE WHERE WFP SUPPORTED LOCUST CONTROL UNDER A FOOD FOR 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        ROME  01963  01 OF 02  221426Z 
WORK PROGRAM.   FAO'S EFFORTS CONSIST PRIMARILY OF MECHANICAL 
CONTROL MEASURES BY LOCAL FARMERS AND AGRICULTURE OFFICIALS, 
WITH SOME CHEMICAL CONTROL IN ROCKY AND INACCESSIBLE AREAS. 
CHEMICAL CONTROL MAY ALSO BE USED IN AREAS LIKE BAGHLAN WHERE 
THERE HAS BEEN RESISTANCE TO COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION.   THE 
CURRENT SITUATION IN THE NORTHERN PROVINCES, WHERE LOCUSTS ARE 
MOST ABUNDANT, IS AS FOLLOWS: 
 
SAMARGAN:  THE LOCAL COMMUNITY IS MOBILIZED AND THE LOCAL 
GOVERNMENT IS FULLY SUPPORTIVE WITHOUT FOOD PAYMENT. 
 
BAGHLAN:  THIS IS WHERE LOCAL FARMERS RECEIVED FOOD AS PAYMENT 
FOR LOCUST CONTROL IN THE PAST AND THERE HAVE BEEN PROBLEMS 
WITH COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION.   FAO'S REPRESENTATIVES IN THE 
FIELD NOW REPORT THAT THIS PROBLEM HAS BEEN OVERCOME AND THAT 
THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR HAS AGREED TO MOBILIZATION IN RETURN FOR 
FUEL TO GET VEHICLES TO THE FIELD.  FAO IS ALSO INITIATING 
CHEMICAL CONTROL IN THIS PROVINCE. 
 
KUNDUZ:  MECHANICAL CONTROL WITHOUT FOOD FOR WORK IS UNDERWAY 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTO7660 
 
PAGE 01        ROME  01963  02 OF 02  220554Z 
ACTION IO-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-00  CIAE-00  COME-00  CTME-00 
      USNW-00  SRPP-00  EB-00    EUR-00   E-00     UTED-00  VC-00 
      TEDE-00  INR-00   VCE-00   M-00     NEA-00   NSAE-00  NSCE-00 
      OES-01   OIC-02   OMB-01   IRM-00   STR-00   TEST-00  TRSE-00 
      USIE-00  SA-00    ECA-00   PRM-00   SAS-00     /004W 
                  ------------------8984E9  220559Z /38 
P 220450Z APR 02 
FM AMEMBASSY ROME 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3359 
AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 
AMEMBASSY ALMATY 
AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 
 
AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 
AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 
AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 
USDA FAS WASHDC 2101 
USEU BRUSSELS 2632 
 
USMISSION GENEVA 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
 
UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 ROME 001963 
 
SIPDIS 
 
FROM U.S. MISSION IN ROME 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        ROME  01963  02 OF 02  220554Z 
STATE FOR IO AND SA/PB 
USAID FOR AA/DCHA, AA/ANE, DCHA/FFP, DCHA/OFDA, USAID/KABUL 
AND USAID/ALMATY 
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH/USAID 
BRUSSELS FOR KFULLER AND KDEBLAW 
USUN FOR LSHESTACK 
NSC FOR JDWORKEN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS:     EAID, EAGR, AORC, FAO, UN 
SUBJECT:  FAO LOCUST CONTROL EFFORTS IN AFGHANISTAN 
AND THE SITUATION IS UNDER CONTROL. 
 
JAWZJAN: EGG BEDS WERE DESTROYED BY SAND STORMS. 
FARYAB/TAKHAR/BADAKSHAN:  DUE TO HIGH ALTITUDES, HATCHING OF 
EGGS HAS NOT BEGUN. 
 
5.  FAO EXPERTS FURTHER NOTED THAT WHILE THEY HOPE EARLY 
ACTION WITH MECHANICAL AND A LITTLE CHEMICAL CONTROL WILL BE 
EFFECTIVE, THESE EFFORTS ARE MERELY PALLIATIVE.  WHAT IS 
REALLY NEEDED IS AN INITIATIVE DIRECTED AT LONG TERM 
PREVENTION.  IN PARTICULAR, SURVEYS ARE NEEDED IN SEMI ARID 
AREAS TO LOCALIZE AND CONTAIN LOCUSTS BEFORE THEY BECOME A 
PROBLEM. 
 
6.  US MISSION REP STATED THAT ACHIEVING RESULTS IS OF UTMOST 
IMPORTANCE AT THIS STAGE IN THE REHABILITATION EFFORTS IN 
AFGHANISTAN.   HE OPINED THAT AFGHANISTAN IS NOT A "NORMAL" 
SITUATION AND THAT FAO MAY HAVE TO CONSIDER OPTIONS (SUCH AS 
FOOD AID PAYMENT FOR MECHANICAL LOCUST CONTROL) THAT THEY 
WOULD NOT OTHERWISE USE IN DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS.  FAO WAS 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        ROME  01963  02 OF 02  220554Z 
URGED TO MONITOR THE SITUATION CLOSELY, ESPECIALLY IN BAGHLAN. 
IT WAS FURTHER AGREED THAT FAO WOULD PROVIDE U.S. 
MISSION/USAID WITH FREQUENT UPDATES ON THE SITUATION. 
 
-------------------------- 
FUNDING FOR LOCUST CONTROL 
-------------------------- 
 
7.  FAO ADVISED THAT CURRENT FUNDING IS ADEQUATE FOR ITS SHORT- 
TERM LOCUST CONTROL EFFORTS.  THE BREAKDOWN IS AS FOLLOWS: 
 
USAID/OFDA     USD. 260,000 
FAO            USD. 300,000 
DFID/UK        USD. 260,000 
ECHO /EC       USD. 300,000 
TOTAL          USD. 1,120,000 
 
8.  FAO REPS DID EXPRESS A NEED FOR FUNDING OF LONGER TERM 
LOCUST CONTROL EFFORTS, INCLUDING THE REHABILITATION OF THE 
AFGHAN PLANT PROTECTION DEPARTMENT AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF A 
SOUTHWEST ASIA REGIONAL LOCUST CONTROL COMMISSION (WHICH WOULD 
ALSO INCLUDE THE CENTRAL ASIAN REPUBLICS AND PAKISTAN), 
SIMILAR TO THE REGIONAL LOCUST COMMISSIONS FAO IS SUPPORTING 
IN AFRICA. U.S. MISSION REPS OFFERED TO PASS ALONG ANY FUNDING 
REQUESTS TO APPROPRIATE USAID PERSONNEL IN WASHINGTON AND THE 
FIELD. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        ROME  01963  02 OF 02  220554Z 
9. USMISSION RELAYED THE MESSAGE THAT: (1) FAO MANAGEMENT MUST 
FOCUS ON "MOVING FROM PLAN TO ACTION;" AND (2) LET'S NOT LET 
THE "PERFECT BE THE ENEMY OF THE GOOD." FAO IS STRONGLY 
ENCOURAGED TO RATCHET UP WHEREVER APPROPRIATE ITS EFFORTS WITH 
LOCAL AIA AUTHORITIES, NGOS AND OTHERS IN THE UNITED NATIONS 
FAMILY. WE DO BELIEVE THAT, WITH FAO'S SPECIAL RELIEF 
OPERATIONS (TCOR) SERVICE (DR. ANNE BAUER AND RICHARD CHINA) 
PRESENTLY MANAGING THE OVERALL FAO RESPONSE IN AFGHANISTAN, A 
RENEWED SENSE OF URGENCY IS BEING INSTILLED. 
 
10. MINIMIZE CONSIDERED.  HEILEMAN 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
> 
 2002ROME01963 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED 


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