128 teams constituted to control locust attack on crops: food minister
ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Food Security Khusro Bakhtiar on Saturday said 128 teams had been constituted to control locust attack on crops in the country.
“Army and civil aviation would also take part in the operation being launched on Monday to spray the locust hit areas in Balochistan,” he said talking to a local news channel.
The minister said locusts had destroyed a vast area in the country but measures had been taken now to avoid further loss of crops from its attack.
He said the World Food Organization would also provide technical and strategic support to Pakistan for eradicating the locust.
On Feb 1, the government had decided to impose a national emergency to protect the crops in the wake of the danger of locusts that were swarming throughout the country’s agricultural domain.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had chaired a high-level meeting called to address the problem of locust. A National Action Plan (NAP) was agreed to eradicate the scourge while a high-level committee was also set up to develop an effective federal-level plan to get rid of the threat from different parts of the country.
PM Imran had said the security of farmers and agriculture was the government’s top priority.
Under the program, federal, regional, and district level responsibilities were allocated while the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was also given tasks to curb the danger.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) had warned in the first week of September 2019 that the locusts situation in Pakistan was “most serious” as the insect’s second generation had been bred.
According to the Locust Watch report of the FAO, there was still a risk of further breeding, which would lead to an increase in the number of locusts, with the possibility of swarming from late September.