Govt utilising available resources, enhancing institutional capacity to fight locusts, says Fakhar Imam

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam on Friday said that the government is utilising all available resources and enhancing capacity of local institutions to handle locusts attacks across the country.

The minister said that about 966 joint teams comprising 5,082 people and 648 vehicles are currently taking part in anti-locusts operations in 32 affected districts across the country.

The minister for national food security and research informed that till date 95,300,000 acres of land had been surveyed while locusts control operation had been completed over 2.292 million acres of land.

He said that the locusts’ are expected to enter the country again from the Rajasthan area in India during the upcoming monsoon season adding that appropriate steps would be taken to curb the locusts threat.

He said that the government is acquiring technical support from other international organisations besides enhancing domestic cooperation to fight locusts attacks.

Fakhar Imam informed that currently five aircrafts belonging to Pakistan Army are conducting aerial spray operations across locusts affected areas of the country. He further informed that five additional aircrafts are expected to be leased while National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has ordered 11 more aircrafts which will further increase the effectiveness of the campaign.

The food minister further said that micron spray is being used in anti-locusts operation and that a local company has ensured the provision of the spray at a controlled price.

He further said that locusts attacks were also registered in 10 states of the neighboring countries including Iran (Sistan) and that aerial spray has been carried out in Balochistan.

The minister also appreciated the coordinated efforts of all the concerned departments including Ministry of National Food Security and Research, NDMA and APDM against locusts and pests attacks in the country.

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