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Pakistan

Web Desk
December 2, 2019

CM Sindh releases Rs10 million for aerial spray in desert area to kill locusts

Pakistan

Web Desk
Mon, Dec 02, 2019

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has decided to provide Rs10 million to federal plant protection department as bridge finance arrangement to launch aerial spray in the desert area, the habitat of locusts. 

He took decision on Monday while presiding over a meeting here at the CM House. The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Senior Advisor to CM Nisar Khuhro, Minister Agriculture Ismail Rahu, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Agriculture Agha Zaheeruddin, DG Agriculture Extension Hidayatullah, DG Falak Naz, DG Plant Protection of federal government and other concerned officers.

He said that  for the deed, three aircrafts, fuel and pesticide will be arranged from the fund.

The chief minister said that the locust  attacks have caused serious damage to the standing crops in 11 districts. “Had the federal government’s plant protection taken timely spray the damages would have been controlled,” he said , directing the provincial Agriculture Department to conduct survey of the damages caused to the crops.

Minister Agriculture Ismail Rahu briefing the chief minister said emergence of desert locust was first reported in Nara desert of Khairpur on May 13, which had come from India. He added that due to prolonged monsoon season, Desert Locust laid eggs in the area and now nymph and hopper band shave emerged in desert areas which could cause a great threat to farmers economy.

The chief minister was told that locust swarm were observed in transition status in many districts which cause damage to the standing crops.

It was pointed out that the federal Plant Protection department was informed to start control operation in Nara Desert. The federal plant protection department started control operation but due to their financial and other constraint the control programnme could not take off properly.

The chief minister was told that the worst affected areas were Salleh pat of Sukkur district, nara Desert of Khairpur, Ghotki desert, Thar desert areas such as Chhachro, Dahili, Nagarparkar and Islamkot, Acchro Thar o Sanghar, Desert area of Umerkot, Gongo Thar of Taluka Daur of Shaheed Benazirabad.

Minister Agriculture Ismail Rahu said that his department has conducted spray operation on 247, 297 acres of different affected area. This spray has been conducted from the funds of Rs319.695 million the chief minister had provided to the deputy commissioners.

The chief minister asked the DG federal Plant protection department that how many aircrafts they were using. He said that they have one helicopter in Sindh which has some fuel and pesticide shortage issues. He said that they could arrange three helicopters if fund issues could be resolved. They vowed to arrange two more helicopters if their fuel and pesticide were arranged.

At this, the chief minister directed secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi to release Rs10 million immediately so that federal government’s Plant Protection Department could start operation along with provincial agriculture department.

He said that the lands have been prepared for wheat cultivation and by the end of this month the seedling would come out. “If this situation remains persistent, then the entire crop would be eaten away by the locust swarm,” he and added this operation must be started within next four days.

The chief minister directed chief secretary to keep monitoring the operation against locust in desert areas and develop close and coordination among district administration, agriculture department and federal plant protection department so that work could be done in a minimum time frame.