Pakistan’s 38% of agricultural land, breeding ground for locusts: FAO.

Pakistan’s 38% of agricultural land has now become a locust-breeding ground, says FAO, the Food and Agricultural Organization. With the arrival of desert locusts in the country, the impacts on economy and food security are devastating and carries the tendency to threat the food resources of Pakistan in the very future.

  Pakistan's 38% of agricultural land has become locust-breeding ground: FAO

Pakistan’s 38% of agricultural land has now become a locust-breeding ground says FAO, the Food and Agricultural Organization. With the arrival of desert locusts in the country, the impacts on economy and food security are devastating and carry the tendency to threat the food resources of Pakistan in the very future.

Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council Chairman, has said that stiff efforts are being carried out in order to deal with the debacle of locusts and the other agricultural challenges that have come upon the country.

Dr. Khan visited the University of Agriculture Faisalabad and called on UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Muhammad Ashraf along with UAF agricultural engineers and entomologists (the scientists who studies insects).
Dr. Khan quoted the FAO as: “As many as 38 per cent of the total agricultural
area in the country had become the breeding ground for the desert locusts”

Further, the 97 per cent of our farming communities which consisted of small farmers that were unable to fully perceive the implementation of the control of equipment with advanced technology that were supposed to be used in the process of eliminating locusts and also to augment the agriculture.

The chairman affirmed that the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) would surely support the Univeristy of Agriculture and Faislabad (UAF) to disseminate its locust spray machine, research and development work for fighting the agricultural challenges confronted the country.

He exclaimed that the UAF newly built locusts spray machine is the first one of its kind in the country and termed it as a stepping stone towards the mission of combating locusts.

The PARC chairman also visited the work on bio pesticide at locust research lab. He said that the federal government is currently planning a project of worth Rs 500 million to utilize the desert locusts. This can be done by catching the locusts alive to use it as the poultry feed.

He added, the UAF scientists should provide a complete research and development on locusts nutritive values for poultry and its feasibility etc.

The Vice Chancellor UAF, Dr Muhammad Ashraf said that locusts appear to be the second largest threat to the country after the pandemic COVID-19 and it may be even termed as ‘COVID-20’ as it carries magnitude to threat the food security of the country.

He further said that patents in the field of agriculture across the country were not more than 35 for which the agricultural scientists should come up with some creative ideas to register these as patents.

The UAF-developed locusts spray machine was first of its kind in the country that was bearing effective results. Dr Khan said that substantial research and development on desert locusts were under on-going process at the UAF.

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