Food crisis feared as large parts of Sindh face locust attack

By: News Desk      Published: 12:40 PM, 6 May, 2020
Food crisis feared as large parts of Sindh face locust attack
File photo.

The situation is worsening amid the locust attack as huge swarms are damaging the crops in 15 districts of Sindh, 24NewsHD TV channel reported on Wednesday.

It triggered a warning by Sindh Agriculture Minister Ismail Rahu who said the country might face a food security crisis if the federal government did not cooperate on the issue.

It is an alarming situation as the Centre is not cooperating with the province just like the coronavirus pandemic, meaning that eliminating the locusts have become a challenge for the Sindh government.

Tharparkar, Umarkot, Sanghar, Shaheed Benazirabad, Ghotki, Sukkur and Khairpur are among the areas most affected by the locust attack.

Meanwhile, the outskirts of Karachi too are not spared by these insects with crops being destroyed in Malir district.

The lack of cooperation by the federal government means that aerial spray has so far been not conducted in the region as two applications forwarded by Sindh are also binned.

And even the surety given by Federal Minister for Food Security Fakhar Imam to Sindh Food Minister Nisar Khuhro did not produce any result.

Due to the grave situation, a meeting has been scheduled in Karachi, where Rahu will discuss the issue with the representative associations of growers.

The locust attack is so alarming that Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini in a recent article called for enhancing regional cooperation to tackle a massive food security challenge for the region posed by the locust attack.

“It is predicted that Pakistan and Iran will face the worst desert locust outbreak in the last 50 years. [These swarms] and can destroy all crops on their way. [They] can wreak havoc in many provinces in both countries,” Hosseini said.

The remarks came as it is feared that giant locust swarms will target the farmland in South Asia this summer. The locusts in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia may threaten the economic livelihood of one-tenth of the world's humans.