An FAO expert (centre) explaining air survey techniques to trainees attending a course on the control of locusts and grasshoppers in the Central West region. - - Locust and Grasshopper Control. In 1985 the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) helped the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture to institute a National Programme to fight and control locusts and grasshoppers. An infestation, larger and more serious than in previous years, is occurring in the fertile Central West and in the North East region already suffering from several years of drought and floods. Dense infestations in the Central West, predominantly of the Rhammatocerus Pictus Locust, cover an area twice the size of Portugal, and nine states in the North East have suffered from infestations, primarily of the Shistocerca Pallens grasshopper. A cloud of locusts or grasshoppers may contain 15 billion insects, weighing up to 100 tonnes, which can consume an equal weight in food crops and pastures every 24 hours. The emergency FAO Technical Cooperation Programme project provided experts to evaluate the problem and teach two training courses organized for government and private enterprise technicians in the cities of CuiabÂ??entral West) and Recife (North East). A second phase of cooperation is helping the Brazilian Government to sustain its pest control programme for at least five more years.