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July 10, 2019

Steps ordered to protect crops from locust attack


July 10, 2019

LAHORE: Fearing locusts attack on crops in the districts bordering Sindh and Balochistan, Punjab Chief Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar on Tuesday directed the provincial authorities to enhance surveillance and ensure strict monitoring of the situation in South Punjab, especially Bahawalpur.

He was presiding over a meeting held here at Civil Secretariat to review situation of locusts in Sindh and Balochistan and measures to check its possible attack in Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan. The meeting decided to form a working group to be headed by the Senior Member Board of Revenue to suggest measures to combat locusts.

The chief secretary asked the relevant departments to remain vigilant and timely complete necessary arrangements regarding purchase of pesticides, and equipment used for spray. He maintained that cooperation of local communities was very important to combat locusts; therefore, they must be mobilised for scouting. He ordered Agriculture Secretary Wasif Khursheed to actively coordinate with provincial and federal agencies.

The agriculture secretary told the meeting that in view of the threat, special teams had been deployed in South Punjab to monitor the situation. He said that Director General (Pest Warning and Quality Control of Pesticides) Zafaryab Haider had been deputed in Bahawalpur to supervise monitoring in the region. He said 300 spray machines had been arranged and distributed in the vulnerable districts. He maintained that the provincial government was in contact with Sindh and Balochistan to get timely information about locusts. He said the Punjab government was coordinating with federal institutions and Ministry of National Food Security had assured that in case of any emergency the Plant Protection Department would respond by providing special aircraft and vehicles for spray.

Uplift scheme: Punjab Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP) approved development scheme of irrigation sector at an estimated cost of Rs730.038million. The scheme was approved in the 2nd meeting of the development party (PDWP) of current fiscal year 2019-20 presided by P&D Chairman Habibur-Rehman Gilani. Acting Secretary Babar Aman Babar, all members of P&D board, provincial secretaries of concerned departments and other senior representatives of the relevant provincial departments attended the meeting.

The approved scheme included: remodeling of right marginal bund from RD 0+000 to 68+000 and left marginal bund from RD 0+000 to 6.

UVAS: University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore organised a stakeholders meeting on “Academia-Industry Research Drive for Dairy Sector” at City Campus here on Tuesday.

Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Chairperson Prof Dr Fazal Ahmad Khalid presided over the meeting and sought suggestions and technical inputs from stakeholders for development of dairy sector. UVAS VC Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha and other representatives from dairy industries, stakeholders from public and private dairy sectors across the country and a large number of academicians, researchers and professionals attended the meeting.

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