Fight against locust attacks to be strengthened

Published March 3, 2020
Beijing fears swarms can enter China from Pakistan, India. — Dawn/File
Beijing fears swarms can enter China from Pakistan, India. — Dawn/File

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of National Food Security and Research and provincial agricultural departments have decided to strengthen the national action plan to combat locust attacks in all the four provinces.

In a related development, a Chinese technical team is visiting Pakistan to assess the situation. It reviewed the situation of locust-affected districts of Punjab with the Punjab agriculture department in Lahore. The team will return to Islamabad on Tuesday to have a final meeting with senior officials of the ministry.

Official sources told Dawn that the team would present its aerial and ground assessments to the ministry’s officials. The technical team will prepare and submit a comprehensive report to the ministry, based on which the Chinese assistance would be determined and the national action plan will further be strengthened in line with the recommendations of the report.

Beijing fears swarms can enter China from Pakistan, India

Minister for National Food Security and Research Khusro Bakhtyar chaired a meeting of all stakeholders at the ministry on Monday to review the current situation and the national action plan to control locust attacks.

An official body in Beijing said China could face a desert locust invasion, urging local authorities to prepare for the possible arrival of the voracious insects from Pakistan and India, according to Reuters.

The risk of swarms entering the country is low, although China will be hampered in tracking the locusts by a lack of monitoring techniques and little knowledge of migration patterns, the National Forestry and Grassland Administrations said on its website.

Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2020

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