The federal government would spend Rs 14 billion, along with the contribution of Rs 12 billion by provincial governments in order to counter the locust threats in the country. This was stated by Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam while chairing the 5th meeting of NLCC on Saturday. He said locust had found a new corridor as they were entering Pakistan from Afghanistan — to DI Khan and Waziristan.
He was of the view that locusts attack had been minimized by combined efforts in majority areas, adding joint teams on the ground continued the spray and destroyed locust when it was on rested mode. He said the federal and provincial governments, district administration and farmers were coordinating to tackle the locust attacks. National Locust Control Center along with National Disaster Management Authority and district administrations were making effort to control the locust, he added.
About 8,000 army troops were deployed for the anti-locust operation. China extended a financial help of USD4.9 million to Pakistan, besides providing 53,000 liters of chemical for spray, sprayers and drones, he added.
He was of the view that 20 aircrafts would be used for anti locusts operation. He also mentioned that ADB and World Bank would finance anti locusts operation in form of USD 200 and USD 150, respectively.
He also admired Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their coordination and appreciated ISPR for locusts awareness campaign. A presentation was also given by Ministry NFS&R regarding National Action Plan (NAP) for anti locusts.
Punjab will treat 5 million hectare, Sindh will treat 1.5 million hectares, Balochistan will treat 0.5 million hectares. Similarly, KPK will treat 0.5 million hectares and as per NAP, there will be a surveillance/control team that will be headed by an etymologists. The team will also include locust assistant, representative of local community and manpower from Pakistan Army.