Pak to establish national cell against locust threat

The Pakistani government has decided to form the National Locust Control Cell against the rising attacks of the locust swarms across the country, which are posing a serious threat to the national food security.

Addressing the media on Thursday, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said that the government has formed national strategy against the desert locust and the proposed cell is part of it, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Mminister added that the government was well aware of the current situation being faced by farmers in different regions where the desert locust swarms are attacking different crops.

“We fear that there would be a great threat of locust swarms in July this year. The government is preparing for it,” said the Minister, adding that nine jets and helicopters were taking part in spraying missions against the locust, which would be increased to 15 in July.

Headvised farmers to report about the arrival of locusts quickly to the helplines so that the authorities can spray pesticides in their region.

The Food and Agriculture Organization released a report last month and warned the Pakistani government of a huge level of locust raid in Pakistan if it is not controlled efficiently because locust breeding is taking place at 38 per cent of the country’s total area.

The report added that the locust could cause 817 billion PKR ($5 billion) loss to Pakistan’s agriculture production this year.