Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research,Syed Fakhar Imam and Coordinator NLCC,Lieutenant General Moazzam Ejaz visited Tharparkar on Friday.Syed Fakhar Imam was of the point of view that all province doing well to controls locusts in country .NLCC is working hard to control the spread of Locusts.He was of the point of view that Pakistan Army and NDMA worked hard for anti locust operation.
During the briefing it was told that threat from Horn of Africa (HOA) is reducing day by day due to conducive climate condition and availability of green vegetation especially in Sudan and Ethiopia. Threat from Yemen and Oman has diluted due to extensive rainfalls and wind direction toward Gulf of Aden / Red Sea.Threat from Iran has diminished as vegetation dried out and migration to summer breeding areas.In India – maximum locust concentrated in Rajasthan and extensive presence of 1st generation of hopper have seen in northeast of Barmer which poses a considerable threat to While in case of Pakistan,locust us present in 2 districts (Tharparkar & Lasbella) out of 133. No presence reported in Punjab and KPK today. Wide spread egg laying reported in Sindh and hopper bands reported in Tharparkar along Indian border.
The ongoing effort of NLCC was also discussed.Total area surveyed is 516,673 sq km and total area treated is 11,167 sq km.Aerial effort is done on 164 sq km (52 sq km with Beavers/ Piper Brave) and 108 sq km with Army Helicopters).1073 teams were employed and manpower employed is 5783,vehicles employed are 758.
It was also told that 4 Helicopters (Army) are being used.And 4 Beaver Aircrafts of Department of Plant Protection(DPP) are also used for aerial spray.NDMA has hired Piper Brave hired from Turkey.
Pakistan Army has also deployed its teams for anti locust operation. Total teams employed are 186 with 225
vehicles.Pakistan Army Engineers also ave demonstration of locally made Sprayers machines.
Foreign assistance was also discussed.5 drones have been received by NDMA from China.Subsequently training will be also conducted by NUST students.12 drones donated by China will be transported by NDMA from China to Pakistan with COVID equipment.DFID (UK) has provided assistance of £ 1 Mn for locust control in Pakistan, which is being spent through FAO. FAO is providing equipment like 50 ULV Mist Micron air sprayers.Out of which
30 ULV sprayers are received and 16 ULV sprayers will be received by end of August,
4 ULV sprayers by end of September.
100 eLocust devices from FAO have been collected.10 Vehicles of FAO purchased in Japan and will be docked soon.
It was also told that NLCC is also training pilots. Training for 3 Pilots for aerial wing of DPP is under progress at Sukkur; conversion training (10 hours each) has been completed.