Govt Considers Imposing National Emergency Over Locust Invasion

The Ministry of National Food Security and Research is contemplating to declare a national emergency over continuous locust attacks in different parts of the country.

The development was revealed at a meeting of the National Assembly’s special committee on agriculture convened by Asad Qaiser.

In this regard, the ministry has sent a summary to the federal cabinet to seek a formal approval, the committee was apprised.

After a period of more than 30 years, incidents of locust attacks have become frequent once again. Locusts have destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres of land and ripened crops, causing huge losses to farmers.

The ministry has also acquired the services of more than 300 personnel from Pakistan Army and Air Force to tackle the situation. At the moment, the ministry is providing necessary training to the personnel to combat the issue.

Pakistan Army not only will provide 200 vehicles to the ministry, but it will also assist the authorities in spraying insecticides in desert and border areas.

According to the ministry’s officials, the authority will use satellite to monitor an area of more 3,00,000 square kilometers and the movement of locust swarms moving northwards.

Regarding the financial cost of the operation, an official from the ministry said:

A total of Rs. 459 million is required for this operation and we have already received Rs 140 million. The ministry has also submitted a requisition of 12 planes to be utilized for spray-purpose.