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Locust Attack To Endanger Food Security In Pakistan

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The locust attack in Pakistan might have endangered food security for the rest of the year, a recent hearing in the Supreme Court indicated.

Dawn News reported that Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan on Tuesday told a five-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, that there will be a huge swarm of locusts migrating from African countries such as Ethiopia to Pakistan in the coming days that may damage the crops.

The AG also recalled the last time it happened, which was 30 years ago and so the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has already been alerted to take necessary precautions.   

The CJP also lamented on the loss of the plant protection department over the years that sprayed pesticides to protect standing crops from all kinds of pest attacks that harmed food and livestock.

While carrying out pesticide spray to eliminate locusts during the previous wave of attack, a pilot and an aviation engineer lost their lives on Jan 12 when their single-engine plane crashed in Cholistan. The light aircraft was hired for spraying pesticide in the area to tackle the renewed wave of locust attack, which began in December 2019, on the request of the district administration.

He said the NDMA had signed a contract with a Karachi-based firm, which manufactures mechanical parts for US Boeing company, to build 15 aerial spraying machines. He apprised the court that if their equipment was found to be satisfactory, a contract of another batch of 200 machines would also be awarded to the firm.

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Naya Daur