ISLAMABAD: A project is underway where the government is planning to make use of the millions of locusts, which have caused much agricultural destructions, to develop bio-compost which would help to boost organic farming.
Cholistan and Thar deserts are chosen as the piloting site for this project. It is said that if even 10% of the population responds to the experiment, it is expected by the ministry of national food security research that a total of 222.000 people in the deserts would be able to fight the desert locusts.
The ministry further anticipates that the project will guard the biodiversity and full mobilization of the local residents to formulate a well-designed system to safeguard a large agricultural area of 23.6 million hactares.
The ministry officials say that it is estimated that around RS1 bn worth of compost would be produced in the first year of operation. They further add that in the long run the compost could be produced with or without locusts’ components.
The project would bring a number of economic gains in which the low cost compost can be brought in the market, and the expected revenue would be around RS 2.80 billion, in a span of 2 years. The ministry further reports that soil’s organic matter, fertility and health could be improved. Locust- based fertilizer will have additional gains of more N (90pc) and N (7pc). At the outset, locusts will be collected through community assemblage according to an incentivized scheme.