Food Security Minister visit NLCC Tharparkar

ISLAMABAD, Aug 21 (APP):Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam along with Coordinator National Locust Control Center (NLCC) Lieutenant General Moazzam Ejaz on Friday visited pest effected areas of District Tharparkar Sindh.

According to the press release, Senior officials of the concern departments briefed them about the prevailing situation and measures being taken to overcome the locust threats.

It was informed that threat from Horn of Africa (HOA) was reducing day by day due to conducive climate condition and availability of green vegetation especially in Sudan and Ethiopia.Threat from Yemen and Oman diluted due to extensive rainfalls and wind direction toward Gulf of Aden and Red Sea, meanwhile threat from Iran has diminished as vegetation dried out and migration to summer breeding areas.It was further informed that currently locust is presented in only 2 districts Tharparkar and Lasbella out of 133.

The NLCC apprised that today no presence of locust was reported from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, however wide spread egg laying reported in Sindh and hopper bands reported in Tharparkar along Indian border.The meeting also discussed the ongoing efforts of NLCC and it was informed that 516,673 square kilometers areas surveyed and total area anti-locust operation was conducted in 11,167 square kilometers.Aerial spray was also done over 164 square  kilometers including 52 square kilometers with Beavers, Piper Brave and 108 square  kilometers with Army helicopters.The meeting was informed that 1,073 joint teams comprising on 5,783 members and 758 vehicles took part in anti-locust survey and control exercise for eliminating the pest from the effected areas.It was also told that 4 helicopters of Pakistan Army were also used, besides 4  Beaver Aircraft of Department of Plant Protection and National Disaster Management Authority has also hired Piper Brave from Turkey.

Pakistan Army also deployed its teams for anti-locust operation as about 186 teams with 225 vehicles were deployed for anti-locust operation and survey.The meeting was also apprised about the foreign assistance and supports against anti-locust drive and informed that 5 drones have been received by NDMA from China.12  drones were donated by China will be transported by NDMA from China to Pakistan with COVID equipment.It was told that Department of International Development (DFID) provided assistance of £1 million for locust control, which is being spent through Food and Agriculture Organization. The FAO was providing equipment like 50 ULV Mist Micron air sprayers.Out of which 30  ULV sprayers were received and        16 ULV sprayers will be received by end of August, 4  ULV sprayers to reach by end of September. The meeting was further informed that 100 e-Locust devices from FAO have also been received, where as 10 Vehicles purchased by FAO from Japan and will be received soon.