Government Utilising all Available Resources to Cope with Locusts and other Pests

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ISLAMABAD, Jul 03 (APP): Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam Friday said that the government was utilizing all available resources to handle the locusts’ attacks, besides enhancing the capacities of local institutions to meet the challenge of pests across the country.

Talking to media here on Friday, he said about 966 joint teams comprising of 5,082 people and 648 vehicles were taking part in the anti-locust operation in 32 affected districts across the country.

The food minister said 95,300,000 acres area had been surveyed while the locusts control operation had been completed over 2.292 million acres.

He said the government was also acquiring technical support from other international organisations, besides enhancing domestic synergies against the menace of locusts’ attacks.

Fakhar Imam said currently five airplanes of the Pakistan Army were conducting aerial spray over the locusts affected areas of the country.

He said that five more airplanes would be leased to make the campaign more vigorous and effective and added that the efforts were also underway against pests in general.

The minister said that about 20 airplanes would be utilized for aerial spray as National Disaster Management Authority had also ordered 11 more aircraft that would further strengthen the drive against the locusts and pests.

The micron spray was also used in the anti-locust operation, he said, adding that a local company had also ensured to provide micron spray at a controlled price. The prime minister, he said, was also concerned about the current pest attacks and had declared an emergency against locusts in January 2020.

The minister said it was predicted that the locusts would enter again in the country from the Rajasthan area of India in monsoon season, adding appropriate steps would be taken to curb the locust threat.

He said locust attacks were also registered in 10 states of the neighbouring country including in Iran (Sistan). He said that aerial spray had been carried out in Balochistan.

The minister also appreciated the coordinated efforts of all the departments concerned including Ministry of National Food Security and Research, NDMA and APDM against locusts and pests attacks in the country.

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