In a country torn apart by civil conflict between Tuareg militants and the government, the latter which was abruptly usurped by a military group in the confusion, both food and political security are severely compromised with thousands of refugees fanning out in order to escape the conflicts. The country's failing food security may face an even greater threat than the conflict as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization prepares for swarms of locusts in the near future.
According to the United Nations FAO, large amounts of locusts will be rushing into northern Mali and neighboring Niger due to the heavy rainfall that occurred over the past month.
These swarms are attracted by the rain as they need rainfall in order to reproduce and provide moisture for the locusts' eggs which normally takes about 2 weeks to hatch and a further 6 seeks to fully mature.
The locusts will of course target vegetation and the agricultural sectors painstakingly constructed in Mali and other countries including Algeria, Mauritania, Libya and Chad.
Efforts on part of the FAO and governments in controlling the swarms have met with some success although the threat remains especially for Mali.
Recent conflict and political instability have made it difficult for authorities everywhere in North Africa and West Africa to deliver locust control equipment and actually safeguard fields of needed crops.
The Food and Agricultural Organization is currently requesting 10 million U.S. dollars so that a famine or another resulting disaster from the swarms of locusts will be diverted saving potentially almost one billion U.S. dollars worth of expenses and damage.