Sindh demands increase in aerial spray against locust MoF to send

its recommendation for declaring emergency against locust

Karachi ( 30 December) Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah has called upon all stakeholders to work together to control locust attack on crops in the province. He said this while chairing a high level meeting on locust control along with Federal Food Secretary Muhammad Hashim Popalzai on Monday at Sindh Secretariat.

The Federal Secretary for food presented National Action Plan Desert Locust Surveillance and Control 2020 terming the situation of emergency emerged after unpredicted generations of locust present in Sindh and Baluchistan. The Federal Secretary informed the meeting that the Food Ministry would send its recommendation to the Federal Cabinet for imposing national emergency against locust.

The meeting attended by the by MNA Nawab Yousuf Talpur, Secretary Agriculture Sindh, Agha Zaheeruddin, Secretary Food Sindh Liaq Ahmed, DG Sparco, DG Plant protection, DG PDMA Baluchistan, DG PDMA Sindh, Deputy Commissioner of relevant districts of Sindh, and others concerned officers of Sindh, Punjab and Baluchistan.

The meeting was briefed about the National Action Plan Desert Locust Surveillance and Control 2020 which will start from 1st January 2020 from Baluchistan province. As per details, from 1st January to June 2020 strong surveillance and control program will be launched in Baluchistan’s various districts and for this 30 camps will be established comprising technical staff of Plant Protection Department and employs of provincial agriculture and PDMA. DG plant protection stated that 100000 litter of ULV pesticides would be sprayed via airplane in Baluchistan. The Director General Department of Plant protection further shared the details of the action plan informed the meeting that from July 2020 to December 2020 total 30 camps will be established in Sindh and 180000 100000 litter of ULV pesticides would be sprayed via airplane in Sindh and 20 camps will also be established in Punjab to control the locust.

It was pointed out by the deputy commissioners and MNA Nawab Yousuf Talpur that the federal Plant Protection Department was informed to start control operation in Nara Desert. The federal plant protection department had started control operation but due to their financial and other constraint the control program could not take off properly. The chief Secretary directed the deputy commissioners and DG Agriculture to keep monitoring the operation against locust in desert areas and develop close and coordination among district administration, agriculture department and federal plant protection department so that work could be done in a minimum time frame. The meeting was informed that plant protection department has controlled the locust in 233775 hectors but it had not sprayed the bordering areas of India and Iran due to security reasons. On this, the Federal Secretary Food stated that they will take up this issue with ministry of defense to arrange spray in the bordering areas.

Chief Secretary Sindh Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah also directed deputy commissioners to survey the damage caused by the locust to the standing crops in various districts of the province. The Chief Secretary also stated that the provincial government is ready to provide all manpower, funds, vehicles, pesticides and all available support for the eradication of the locust and 50 thousand liter of pesticides have also been purchased. He also asked federal secretary food to increase the airplanes for aerial spray and minimum 10 airplanes must be used to control the situation under National Action Plan Desert Locust Surveillance and Control 2020. The federal secretary assured the Sindh Government and stated that sufficient funds have also been allocated by the federal government to control the locust and all available resources to be utilized.

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