Bilawal seeks invoking NAP to control locusts

By Shakeel Ahmed

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has asked the Federal government to immediately implement National Action Plan (NAP) formulated to control the ensuing locust attack in the country.
“Any delay in the implementation of NAP decided at a meeting between the Federal and Sindh government would mount great danger to the agriculture as well as the economy,” said the PPP Chairman in a statement issued here on Friday.
It may be mentioned here that Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has already warned that locust attack can inflict losses to the tune of Rs600 billion on Pakistani economy if Federal government failed to take timely and full-fledged action as per the NAP.
Bilawal Bhutto pointed out that a meeting between Federal and Sindh governments had decided the NAP under which at at least 12 aeroplanes had to be hired for aerial spray in the Balochistan areas being the entry point of locust swarms. “But the Federal government didn’t hire these aeroplanes and only one aircraft and three helicopters are being used for operations in Balochistan, which cannot control the swarms,” he added.
He pointed out that swathes of locust swarms have entered Kashmore, Larkana, Umerkot and Tharparker. They have moved into India whose desert was fertile breeding ground for them before heading back to Sindh, Punjab and even to the parts of KPK.
The PPP Chairman said that it was the key responsibility of Plant Protection Department of the Federal govt to conduct aerial spray while Sindh government has provided pesticides and vehicles. He stated that Federal Ministry for Food Security is again missing in actions as Locusts attack crops across Pakistan.