Timely locust control demanded

May 30, 2020

KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s Businessmen Panel Secretary General Ahmad Jawad has said that 6 percent% of population was already facing food...

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KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FPCCI) Businessmen Panel Secretary General Ahmad Jawad has said that 6 percent% of population was already facing food insecurity and, if locust crisis is not controlled in time, the results will be devastating, a statement said on Friday.

Currently, more than 60 districts of the country were affected from locust attack, which is shocking indicators, he said. “Maize, moong, mangoes, cotton and sugarcane crops are the most affected ones from this attack.”

These insects, mainly originating from deserts, eat anything from bark to seeds and flowers, while travelling up to a speed of 93.2 miles/day. The region saw the first wave of the locust invasion in May last year since 1993, he added. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Pakistan’s 38 percent of agriculture fields are breeding grounds for the insects.

Of these, 60 percent locusts breed in Balochistan alone – the country’s poorest province, followed by southern Sindh, 25 percent, and northeastern Punjab – the most populous province, 15 percent.

“Locust invasion is a major threat than the coronavirus. The virus would not attack if you stay home or follow safety guidelines, but hunger will kill you in anyway.”

Jawad said the Agriculture Pest Warning and Quality Control of Pesticide Department should be given new SOP’s by the government after detailed consultation so that they may monitor the quality of pesticides vigilantly.



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