Locust entering Pakistan from Afghanistan and destroying fields

A man in a field under attack from locust
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China extends financial help of USD 4.9 million to Pakistan by giving it 53,000 liters of spray, sprayers and drones

Locust entering Pakistan from Afghanistan and destroying fields. Desert locust situation in Pakistan has found a new corridor — they are entering Pakistan from Afghanistan to DI Khan and Waziristan. For this, a national plan is in process. Overall, the federal Government will spend Rs 14 billion and provincial governments will contribute Rs 12 billion to counter the locust.

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Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam was chairing 5th meeting of NLCC. He was of the point of view that locusts attack can been minimal by combined efforts in majority areas. The teams on the ground were sent out at night to spray and destroy locust when it is resting, he told.

He said the federal and provincial governments, district administration and farmers were coordinating to tackle the locust attacks. National Locust Control Center along with National Disaster Management Authority and district administrations were making effort to control the locust. About 8,000 army troops were deployed for the anti-locust operation.

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China extended financial help of USD 4.9 million to Pakistan by giving it 53,000 liters of spray, sprayers and drones, he disclosed. He was of the view that 20 aircrafts will be in use for anti locusts operation. FAO will handover 20 micronair sprayers in next week.

He also mentioned that ADB and World Bank will finance anti locusts operation in form of USD 200 and USD 150 respectively. Further, he admired Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their coordination. He praised ISPR for locusts awareness campaign. The Ministry NFS&R also gave a presentation regarding National Action Plan(NAP) for anti locusts.

Target has been set for treating crop area in first stage. Punjab will treat 5 million Hectare (mn HA),Sindh will treat 1.5 mn HA, Balochistan will treat 0.5 mn HA. Similarly KPK will treat 0.5 mn HA.As per NAP, there will be a surveillance/control team that will be headed by an etymologists. The team will also include locust assistant, representative of local community and manpower from Pakistan Army.

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