SARGODHA: A swarm of locusts has attacked farms in Sargodha and adjoining areas, including Sahiwal, Shahpur and Sillanwali.

Farmers say the insect attack has inflicted unbearable losses on their crops. They said they with the assistance of agriculture department officials started spray to save their crops from locusts.

A spokesperson for the agriculture department said that some tehsils of Sargodha and Khushab districts, including Sahiwal Sillanwali, Shahpur, and Noorpur Thal, were vulnerable to the locust attack.

Agricultural experts say sprays are just repellent and force the swarm to fly away from the area.

Also, a meeting of the district disaster management committee reviewed the situation of the threat of locusts and advised farmers to use spray. District management committee head Hameedullah Malik warned that it was necessary to destroy the larva before it matured in two weeks.

It was added that aerial spray in Sargodha will not be possible hence 100 vehicles wil be provided. He said that green area of Sargodha and thal(desert area) will be under great threat.

KINNO: Sargodha district is known for the taste of citrus, commonly known as Kinno, and produces more than two million tons citrus, almost 90 percent of the yield of Pakistan.

The government is taking all necessary steps to enhance the yield besides facilitating growers on exports of the citrus products.

This was stated here by Provincial Minister for Manpower Ansar Majeed Khan at the inauguration of a citrus festival on Monday. He said agriculture and food Ministers would soon visit Sargodha and initiate all steps for the welfare of farmers.

Deputy Commissioner Abdullah Nayyar Sheikh said the government would set up citrus research centre in the district to help farmers to boost citrus produces.

He added that Sargodha produced Kinno worth Rs30 billion and growers may enhance the yield by reaching out profitable markets in the world.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2020

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