Agriculture World

Pakistan Could Import Insecticides from India to Fight Locust Attack

locust

As per the latest reports, Pakistan may import insecticides from India to deal with any locust attacks in the upcoming summer season, bypassing a ban on trade between the neighboring countries.

A copy of the Cabinet agenda for today’s meeting (18 Feb 2020) seen by Reuters has the import option on it.

To recall, Islamabad had severed all diplomatic & trade ties with New Delhi in August 2019 after India canceled the special status of Kashmir - a disputed region between the two enemies.

Director-General of the Department of Plant Protection in the Ministry of National Food Security & Research, Dr. Falak Naz speaking to Reuters said, “Yes definitely, there is a fear of locust attack in June to July and this is the reason we are planning & preparing in advance”.

China that is currently fighting with the coronavirus outbreak is the next country from where Pakistan can import the insecticides.

locust

Islamabad had declared a national emergency over locust swarms few days back after the food ministry gave a briefing to the parliament, warning that the country was facing the worst locust infestation in 20 years.

Desert locusts, big herbivores that look like grasshoppers, are said to have arrived the neighboring country from Iran and have already damaged crops like cotton, wheat etc.

The National Food Security Minister, Khusro Bakhtiar quoted by The Express Tribune, said in the briefing that currently locust swarm was on the Indo-Pak border. He said, “Action has been taken against the pest over 0.3 million acres and aerial spray was done on 20,000 hectares”.

Desert locusts’ swarms have attacked Eastern Africa, destroying crops, decimating pasture & deepening a hunger crisis. The UN said that hundreds of millions of locusts have swept over the Horn of Africa in the worst outbreak in around 25 years.



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