Surge in locust swarm breed feared in weeks to come: Jawad

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Staff Reporter

Karachi

Secretary General Federal of the Businessmen Panel and former Chairman Standing Committee on Agriculture, Ahmad Jawad has said that in Pakistan, control operations are in progress against hopper groups and bands in the Nagarparkar area of southeast Sindh. Groups of adults are maturing in Tharparkar and Cholistan deserts while laying is expected in areas that have already received monsoon rains. This will cause a further increase in locust numbers as hatching and hopper band formation occur in the coming weeks.
Jawad said though all provinces were affected by the locust attack, but the damage remained below fifty percent in all the areas due to timely intervention of National Locust Control Centre.
If country’s agricultural production is effected by locust to most, he said it can cause increase in prices of commodities along with four to five billion dollars loss to the economy. According to official figures, fifty seven million acre area has been affected by the locust this year of which twenty three million acres were agricultural land, he added.
Similarly the summer breeding of desert locust swarms has commenced in Pakistan’s Tharparkar, Nara and Cholistan deserts where hatching and band formation will increase later this month. On top of monitoring the breeding and movement of locust swarm, Fengyun satellites are helpful when it comes to the assessment of vegetation damage.

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