Pakistan ready to combat impending attack of locust: FAO official

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Pakistan is well prepared to combat an impending attack of crop-eating locust from breeding grounds in southern Iran.

Talking to United Nations correspondents in New York via video-link from Rome, a senior locust forecasting officer of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, Keith Cressman, called the current desert locust outbreak as the worst in decades for countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Iran, Pakistan and India. 

He said the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is doing all it can to help these countries control this menace that threatens their food security. Responding to a question specifically about the operations in Pakistan, Keith Cressman said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had already declared a national emergency to meet the challenge and the government has been very actively working to get ready for action.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation officer said the government has been training all their personnel, recruiting additional hands, procuring stocks of pesticides, vehicles and aircraft. He said unlike Kenya, Pakistan also has experience of dealing with locust swarms in the past and they have systems in place.

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