Trade body calls for controlling locust crisis on priority
ISLAMABAD: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Businessmen Panel on Sunday warned that if locust crisis were not controlled in time, the results would be devastating.
The Panel, Secretary General (Federal) Ahmad Jawad said in a statement that locusts had spread across the country, causing damage to crops and orchards and posing a threat to food security.
“Massive swarms of the desert locust, began damaging crops in Pakistan last month; but the situation worsened this week. Currently more than 60 districts of the country were affected. “Maize, Mung, Mangoes, Cotton and Sugar cane crop are the most affected one from this disease”.
These insects eat anything from bark to seeds and flowers while traveling up to a speed of 93.2 miles (149 kilometers) a day.
The region saw the first wave of the locust invasion in May last year after 1993.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Pakistan’s 38% of agriculture fields are breeding grounds for the insects.
Out of which 60 percent locusts breed in Balochistan alone, followed by southern Sindh, 25 percent, and northeastern Punjab, 15 percent.
In remote parts of Punjab, and Balochistan, farmers beat drums to keep the insect away. In other parts, they use smoke to cut the oxygen supply to insects due to late support from the government. – APP