Army to help civil administration combat locust threat, says Gen Qamar

COAS visits the National Locust Control Centre in Rawalpindi, says ISPR

News Desk June 04, 2020
COAS visits National Locust Control Center in Rawalpindi, says ISPR

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday visited the National Locust Control Centre (NLCC) in Rawalpindi and was briefed on measures being taken to counter swarms of locusts destroying seasonal crop and risking famine.

"[The] COAS visited National Locust Control Center #NLCC Rwp. Was briefed by Lt Gen Moazzam Ejaz, Chief Coordinator NLCC, about efforts being undertaken to counter locust threat. [The] COAS appreciated NLCC role in synergizing national efforts in line with National Action Plan," the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a tweet.

Hopper bands of the Schistocerca gregaria – commonly known as the desert locust – have already devoured large quantities of crops in over 60 districts of all the provinces.

General Qamar reiterated that army will make all possible resources available to help the civil administration combat locust threat.

Worst of locust swarms yet to come

"He [army chief] stressed effective control ops are essential for ensuring food security & mitigating negative eco impact. Govt already declared national emergency in this regard," the army's media wing said in a follow-up tweet.

These insects, mainly originating from deserts, eat anything from bark to seeds and flowers while travelling up to a speed of 149km a day.

The region saw the first wave of locust invasion in May last year since 1993. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Pakistan’s 38% of agricultural fields are breeding grounds for the insects.

With input from Anadolu Agency


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