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Locusts havoc: Pakistan may import insecticides from India


FILE PHOTO: A farmer holds a locust at a feild in the Pakistan's port city of Karachi. (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: A farmer holds a locust at a feild in the Pakistan's port city of Karachi. (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)

PAKISTAN may bypass a trade-ban with India to import insecticides to fight the locusts menace in the country.

Pakistan declared a national emergency over locust swarms early this month after the food ministry gave a briefing to Parliament.

The cabinet agenda for the meeting on Tuesday (18) has the import option on it, Reuters reported.

Dr Falak Naz, Director-General Department of Plant Protection, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, told the news agency that the nation fears there will be a locust attack in June-July, and “we are preparing in advance”.

Pakistan severed all diplomatic and trade ties with New Delhi in August 2019 after India revoked the special status of Kashmir, a disputed territory between the two rivals.

Pakistan has the option to import insecticides from China, but there are concerns about supply as the latter is a battling coronavirus.

Pakistan earlier declared that the country was facing the worst locust infestation in two decades.

Locusts are said to have arrived in Pakistan from Iran and have already damaged maze, cotton, wheat and other crops.

Khusro Bakhtiar, the national food security minister said that the locust swarm was currently on the Pakistan-India border.

The country has taken protective action in over 0.3 million acres (121,400 hectares) and aerial spray was done on 20,000 hectares, reports said.

Recently, swarms of desert locusts have invaded eastern Africa, ravaging crops, decimating pasture and deepening a hunger crisis.