ISLAMABAD: The threat of attacks of the desert locust from the ‘Horn of Africa’ has reduced and the government has not received any new warning from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, the National Locust Control Centre (NLCC) said on Saturday.

However, the FAO has recommended to stay on guard and urged the government to remain vigilant. The day-to-day situation in the Horn of Africa is being closely monitored by the FAO and an early warning will be issued well in advance in case of any kind of migration activity is observed, according to NLCC.

The NLCC, in a statement, says that no locust is seen in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday. However, the locust is present in one district each of Sindh and Balochistan.

FAO asks Pakistan not to lower guard

The NLCC says anti-locust survey and control operations are in progress, and during the past 24 hours 256,050 hectares of area has been surveyed, while control operation was carried out on 100 hectares of farm land in Lasbela and 1,100 hectares of Tharparkar district.

During past six months, a control operation has been carried out on 1,108,270 hectares of land, the NLCC says.

Monitoring and vigilance is suggested along the coast line from Karachi to Sujawal for any locust settlement due to migration from Oman. Confirmed breeding in Tharparkar and probable breeding in Cholistan along with developmental stage of existing locusts need to be monitored closely and reported immediately.

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2020

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