State of Eritrea
Eritrea covers an area of 117,760 km2 and has a coastline of over 1,000 km. It is situated in the Horn of Africa, neighbouring Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti and bordered to the East with the Red Sea . The total cultivable area is estimated to be around 1.6 million ha.
The total cultivated area was 503,000 ha in 2002, of which 500,000 ha arable land and 3,000 ha permanent crops. Most of the country consists of savannah, steppes and desert, particularly in the south-western lowlands and in the east near the Red Sea. The highlands, where altitudes range between 1,500 and 2,000 m, are among the oldest areas cultivated by humans and they show signs of overuse. Administratively, Eritrea is divided into six Zobas (Provinces). Six different major agro-ecological zones can be distinguished, with crop production being concentrated on the moist highlands and the lowlands.
Eritrea harbours important Desert Locust breeding areas particularly during the winter season in the Eastern Lowlands stretching along the Red Sea coast to the border with Sudan in the North and during the summer season in the Western Lowlands in the Gash-Barka basin.
During the recent years, the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Resources in underwent major structural reforms with focus on decentralizing the implementation of the agricultural policies to the regions (Zobas). Amongst other plant protection matters, Desert Locust affaires are coordinated by the Officers of the Crop Protection Unit and the Locust Information Office under the supervision of the Director of the Technical Service Division. The Locust Information Office is equipped with modern data management equipment, Reconnaissance and Management System of the Environment of Schistocerca (RAMSES). Because of only limited own resources, the Crop Protection Unit has to conduct all Desert Locust survey and control activities in close collaboration with the regional Agricultural Departments.