ISLAMABAD: The Food and Agriculture Orga­nisation (FAO) of the United Nations has said that breeding of desert locusts will continue in Nara and Cholistan, causing their numbers to increase with the possibility of hopper and adult groups forming.

In its new report titled ‘Desert Locust Bulletin’, it said that a second round of breeding could commence in August, leading to the formation of bands and eventually small swarms. Breeding might also extend to Thar­parkar desert with the onset of the monsoon rains, it said.

In early June, spring breeding came to an end in Balochistan with the last report of swarm-laying near Lasbela while hoppers and hopper groups persisted near Lasbela, Turbat and Gwadar and in the northern interior near Dalbandin, and scattered immature and mature adults prevailed in a few places near Lasbela and Turbat.

In summer breeding areas, breeding occurred in Nara desert south of Rohri and in Cholistan near Islamgarh. Hopper groups formed in both areas but mainly in Nara where immature and mature adult groups were also present. Control operations treated 8,684 hectares of which 800 hectares were by air.

The bulletin said that this year’s summer breeding was anticipated to be heavier than normal, resulting in hopper bands and perhaps small swarms along the Indo-Pakistan border where two generations might be possible.

Keeping in view the current desert locust situation in the country, the plant protection dep­artment in collaboration with the provincial governments, district administration and department of agriculture extension, was preparing to establish ‘locust control centres’ at the district level for ensuring a thorough surveillance and targeted control operations, sources in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research said.

Though the plant protection department had sufficient stocks of pesticide for the current control activities, more could be procured in case of large-scale attack of desert locusts, and the department had initiated procurement process for purchase of pesticides, sources said.

It was learned that the plant protection department was seeking financial support from the federal government as well as from the FAO to meet its huge general operating expenditures. The department had been in contact with and sensitising various associations to support the growers in handling the issue where the cultivated areas were at threat.

A ‘locust emergency’ might be declared to seek support of other departments in terms of manpower, vehicles, accommodation and security, the sources in the ministry said.

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2019

Opinion

Editorial

Police Lines bombing
Updated 31 Jan, 2023

Police Lines bombing

Where the menace of terrorism is concerned, the government and opposition need to close ranks and put up a united front.
Oil price hike
31 Jan, 2023

Oil price hike

THE record single-day increase in petrol prices, preceded by massive currency depreciation, signifies the ...
Babar Azam’s award
31 Jan, 2023

Babar Azam’s award

BABAR Azam might not have lifted many trophies as Pakistan’s all-format captain in the last year but the star...
Blatant Islamophobia
Updated 30 Jan, 2023

Blatant Islamophobia

Muslim extremists and terrorist outfits are emboldened by hateful acts.
Modern slavery
30 Jan, 2023

Modern slavery

MODERN slavery is a wide-ranging term that can encompass a multitude of scenarios. Common to all of them, however, ...
Remarkable Sania
30 Jan, 2023

Remarkable Sania

BRINGING to a close a career in which she smashed stereotypes, Sania Mirza delivered almost the perfect ending in ...