ISLAMABAD, Dec 4 (APP):Minister for National Food Security and Research Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar
on Wednesday expressed the firm resolve of government to combat the menace of desert locust attack in Sindh and other parts of the country by using all possible resources and latest technology to protect the agriculture sector.
According to a press release issued by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, the minister was closely monitoring the efforts initiated by the Ministry of National Food Security and Department of Plant Protection (DPP) to combat the menace of desert locust.
In order to formulate a comprehensive strategy, the minister had also contacted the Chief Minister Sindh and asked him for setting up a joint task force for the effective implementation of combat plan.
The minister was also briefed that DPP had utilized all its available resources, both at ground level and aerial, to combat the desert locust.
He directed the department concerned to rigorously track the movement of locust swarms to contain and prevent it from entering agricultural land.
The minister reaffirmed his resolve that no efforts would be spared to beat the looming perilous situation and had directed that all available planes at the disposal of Department of Plant Protection (DPP) be utilized as early as possible for aerial spray in focused areas where locust population could not be contained through ground operation.
The total of 664,320 hectare area had been surveyed across the country of which 164,505 hectare area was treated so far.
In Sindh province total 2,75,620 hectares have been surveyed and 98,970 hectares have been treated.
The Ministry of Food Security, in collaboration with Punjab and Sindh agriculture departments, had successfully contained the locust in Punjab Province through rigorous surveillance and treatment.
The resources for the locust control operation would jointly be shared by the federal and the provincial government.
The minister advised the authorities concerned to make their best efforts in locust affected areas to meet the imminent challenge and it was informed that camps had been established at various sites in Sindh by DPP for immediate operations.
It has also provided 17 Ultra-low Volume (ULV) sprayers to the Department of Agriculture (Extension) and 8 to Punjab Agriculture Department for effectively treating the locust infested area with minimum of pesticides.