APP01-09 ISLAMABAD: October 09 - Federal Minister NFSR, Syed Fakhar Imam addressing during the closing ceremony of meeting of National Locust Control Centre (NLCC). APP photo by Saeed-ul-Mulk

ISLAMABAD, Oct 9 (APP): Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam Friday said that due to dedicated work done by all the concerned stakeholders, Pakistan remained successful in controlling locusts.

“The challenge of locust was no doubt enormous but it was met extraordinarily well with coordinated efforts of the NLCC, provincial governments, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), and of course the villagers of the affected areas,” he said while chairing a meeting here at the National Locust Control Center (NLCC).

The minister also commended the efforts by all stakeholders including the leadership, common people and concerned international institutions such as Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) who played vital role in Locust controlling.

He said due to timely deployment of equipments and other resources by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) the country managed to avoid any major loss.

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Fakhar Imam said about 63 districts of the country including 10 each from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh and almost all districts of Balochistan were affected by the locust attack and for the first time in 60 years, locust swarms entered the country from Afghanistan via FATA region and Dera Ismail Khan that was unexpected.

Furthermore, he said it was also for the first time that locust settled in cropped areas of Balochistan while in routine, it used to settle in desert areas.
“Despite difficulties at economic front, every Pakistani citizen, institutions and leadership played due role in meeting the challenge, and this can be a case study how the locust was controlled.”

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The minister also stressed the need for promoting agriculture based economy in the country saying that the ministry was in constant touch with the provinces to formulate such policies that would help development of the sector.

He said as per estimation, Sindh province was going to lose nearly 30 percent or 1.4 million bales of cotton this year due to climate change implication.
“Unfortunately cotton has been extraordinarily badly hit this year mainly due to climate change implications,” he said while chairing a meeting here National Locust Control Center (NLCC).

He said cotton crop was also badly affected in other areas of the country but the Sindh province had been devastated at such a level that had never been seen in 100 years.