KARACHI: Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Khusro Bakhtiar on Monday assured Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah of full support of the federal government in locust control.
An emergency meeting was held at Chief Minister House Sindh where CM Murad Ali Shah was briefed about the existing desert locust upsurge. The federal minister also discussed the locust issue with Sindh Governor Imran Ismail.
The federal minister advised the Federal Plant Protection Department (DPP) and provincial agriculture department to further invigorate the desert locust control activities by deploying three aircraft in the Sindh region to safeguard the growers and the country from economic and food security-related losses.
CM Sindh has promised to contribute Rs10 million for procurement of pesticides and aviation fuel to overcome the existing locust emergency situation.
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The participants were told that desert locust surveillance and control activities have been successfully continued in desert areas of Balochistan, Tharparkar, Nara and Cholistan since its entry from Iran in March 2019.
The control teams have surveyed around 659,320 hectares so far and controlled an area of 161,625 hectares out of which 6,200 hectares have been treated by aerial means by spraying 121,565 liters of pesticides.
The instant desert locust activity observed in Sindh is in fact migration from the Summer-Monsoon breeding zone towards coastal areas of Balochistan (Winter-Spring breeding zone).
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Desert locust flies during the daytime and settles during the night. Such migrations are usually not in search of food, and the DPP is closely monitoring the situation.
Earlier on November 25, the Sindh provincial Minister for Agriculture Ismail Rahu had written a letter to the federal authorities demanding to provide more resources to the province in order to tackle locust attack.
The minister demand three planes and 32 more vehicles to conduct spray in the province to tackle locusts attack on the fields. He said that currently the spray is being carried out from one plane, and the current resources are not sufficient to carry out spray in districts of four divisions of the province.
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