Pakistan fully eradicated desert locusts with China’s assistance

By: News Desk      Published: 01:22 PM, 13 Oct, 2020
Pakistan fully eradicated desert locusts with China’s assistance

Pakistan fully eradicated swarms of desert locusts, eight months after declaring a national emergency to battle the infestation, with China's assistance, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Tuesday.

China provided 300,000 litres of required pesticides, 12 drone sprayers and 30 spraying equipment with a total worth of $5 million to help Pakistan in combating the locust swarms, the TV channel reported.

Pakistan deployed drones, helicopters, hundreds of vehicles and thousands of agriculture workers since declaring a national emergency on 1st February to protect crops and help farmers.

China, Pakistan’s close ally and all-weather friend, had donated drones, tonnes of pesticides and technical expertise to help Pakistan tackle the crisis that posed food security threat to the country.

It is pertinent to note that Since June 2019, the locust outbreak was impacting Pakistan and in November 2019, Karachi saw the first locust attack in the city since 1961.

Last week, National Locust Control Centre Head Lieutenant General Moazzam Ejaz said that, “By the grace of God and efforts of all, we can declare today there is no locust in Pakistan.”

“The swarm started declining in August and we cleared the last few hectares of land in two districts this week,” Ejaz said at a ceremony in Islamabad.

There can be resurgence of locust swarms but we will be ready to pre-empt that, Mohamed Afzal, head of Pakistan’s disaster management agency said.

It is pertinent to note that locust swarms first entered Pakistan in June 2019 from neighbouring Iran and quickly devastated large areas of agricultural land across southwestern districts, ravaging cotton, wheat, maize and other crops.