Ethiopian Coffee and Others Threatened by a Plague of Locusts.

14 February 2020

Our Ethiopian coffee is a popular choice for many KSV Vending customers and selected African coffee beans are used in a number of the blends we sell. The main environmental news profile for 2020 so far has been the wild fires in Australia and in the past few days the record high temperatures in Antarctica. However, the Horn of Africa has faced a terrible environmental crisis in recent weeks as the first substantial plague of locusts for over 70 years has swarmed across Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea before moving south to attack crops in Kenya and now Uganda.

Although the preferred food for these swarms are maize or millet crops, they will strip whole area of almost anything “green” including Coffee plants, rice, fruit and vegetables. The scale of these swarms is staggering with a one-kilometre square swarm containing around 80 million locusts. Each locust will consume at least its own body weight (approximately 2 grams) every single day, and to put that into context that one swarm will in a day eat the same volume of food as 35,000 humans! Kenya has recently endured a single swarm of 2,400 square kilometres…… do the maths on that!

Although there is some aerial spraying of insecticide being undertaken in certain areas with very limited success, it is possible that some that some agricultural products will take years to recover from this disaster. Just maybe for a while some coffee blends will be a memory rather than reality.

Written By: Colin from KSV.

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