Ministry resolves to combat lotus jointly with Sindh govt

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STAFF REPORT

ISLAMABAD

Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar is closely monitoring the efforts by the Federal Ministry of National Food Security & Research and Department of Plant Protection (DPP) to combat the menace of desert locust in Sindh and other parts of the country. For the purpose, he spoke to CM Sindh to set up a joint task force for the effective implementation of combat plan.

The new Federal Minister after taking control of Ministry sought briefing about the efforts rendered by the department and result achieved to that effect. The Minister was briefed that DPP had utilized all its available resources, both at ground level and aerial, to combat the desert locust. Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar talked to the Governor and CM Sindh to evaluate the enormity of situation. He directed the department concerned to rigorously track the movement of locust swarms to contain and prevent it from entering agricultural land.

It is pertinent to mention that Federal Minister Khusro Bakhtiar has committed his resolve that no efforts would be spared to beat the looming perilous situation. Moreover, the Minister Khusro Bakhtiar has called an emergency meeting in the Ministry to discuss best possible options and resources to expedite the efforts to that effect. The Minister has directed that all available planes at the disposal of Department of Plant Protection (DPP) to be utilized as early as possible for aerial spray in focused areas where locust population could not be contained through ground operation(s). The total of 664,320 hectare area had been surveyed across the country of which 164,505 hectare area is treated so far. In Sindh province total 2,75,620 hectares have been surveyed and 98,970 hectares have been treated.

The Ministry of Food Security in collaboration with Punjab & Sindh Agriculture Departments has successfully contained the locust in Punjab Province through rigorous surveillance and treatment. The resources for the locust control operation would jointly be shared by the Federal & the Provincial Government. Federal Minister advised the concerned to make their best efforts in locust affected areas to meet the imminent challenge. The Federal Minister was briefed about the camps established at various sites in Sindh by DPP for immediate operations. It has also provided 17 Ultra-low Volume (ULV) sprayers to the Department of Agriculture (Extension) and 8 to Punjab Agriculture Department for effectively treating the locust infested area with minimum of pesticides.

The Federal Minister expressed his resolve that in collaboration with concerned Provincial Departments and all stakeholders, maximum area would be treated through proper monitoring and comprehensive action plan.