Punjab is gearing up to face locust swarms that can potentially destroy cash crops in the province.
The swarm has already devastated the green cover in Balochistan and parts of Sindh and is now heading towards Punjab.
According to the officials of the Ministry of National Food Security & Research, the locusts are close to entering the border districts of Bahawalpur and Rahim Yar Khan.
A senior official said that a stray swarm had entered Kandera Toba in Bahawalpur from Rajasthan and was successfully dealt with, but he was concerned about the larger locust swarm growing further in Sindh and approaching Punjab.
Sources say that the concerned authorities in the province have failed to prepare a counter plan.
While the provincial government is showing no urgency in the matter, the federal government’s Plant Protection Department is also unprepared to deal with the situation.
According to a senior government official, they had received a warning from the ministry of food security and were implementing an action plan accordingly. However, the official admitted that the department did not have enough capacity to deal with the menace.
He reflected that the main areas of concern for the government are trained staff, a survey of the threatened area, communicating info to the farmers, and taking action to counter the threat.
The Sindh Agriculture Department has informed the Federal Plant Protection Department that the locust swarm has been reported in District Jamshoro, Nawabshah, and Naushero Feroz.
Via: The News