National emergency to be declared over locusts attack, NA body told

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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of National Food Security and Research on Thursday announced that it has decided to declare a national emergency over locusts attack in parts of the country and a summary in this regard is conveyed to the federal cabinet.

It was briefed by the ministry officials during a meeting of the National Assembly’s special committee on agriculture, presided over by Speaker Asad Qaiser.

The ministry said that after a gap of 30 years, the locusts have once again attacked the country.

“We have acquired the services of armed forces and Pakistan Air Force in combating the issue,” they said adding 300 personnel of the armed forces are receiving training to tackle it.

“The army will also provide 200 vehicles to carry out spray in the desert area and they will also assist authorities in carrying out spray in border areas,” the ministry officials said.

They said that it would require to monitor an area spanning up to three hundred thousand square kilometers and will use satellites to monitor the locust movement.

“A total of Rs 459 million is required for this operation and we have already received Rs 140 million,” they said adding that they have also submitted a requisition of 12 planes to be utilized for spray-purpose.

The officials said that in order to avoid further losses from locusts attack, it is necessary to restrict its movement at the Balochistan border.

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