Pakistan declares emergency over locust infestation

Pakistan declares emergency over locust infestation

Agency News

Islamabad, Feb 1: Pakistan authorities on Saturday declared national emergency to battle swarms of desert locust whose infestation has destroyed crops on a large scale in Punjab after wiping out the same in Sindh. "We are facing the worst locust infestation in more than two decades and have decided to declare national emergency to deal with the threat," Dawn quoted Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan on Saturday.

The decision and a national action plan to deal with the locust threat were approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan after a detailed briefing on Friday. "I have doubts that we will be able to achieve our wheat production target of 27 million tons this year," Nisar Khaskhali, a farmer and member of the Sindh Chamber of Agriculture.

"The locust attack is unprecedented and alarming," minister for national food security Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar told the National Assembly on Friday. He said authorities were struggling to deal with the infestation of the desert locusts due to limited resources. The crop-eating grasshopper entered Pakistan in June from Iran and has already affected large areas across south-western districts and ravaged cotton, wheat, maize and other crops.(UNI)