FAO provides upgraded equipment to boost anti-locust ops

Fakhar Imam says micron sprayers will change the quantum of locust threat

​ Our Correspondent June 23, 2020
Fakhar Imam says micron sprayers will change the quantum of locust threat PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has provided upgraded equipment to boost Pakistan’s surveillance and control operations currently under way to curb the desert locust infestation in the country, said a statement released here on Monday.

The equipment handed over to the ministry of national food security included 20 ultra low volume (ULV) pesticides micron sprayers for vehicles, 1,303 personal protection equipment (PPEs) and 100 global positioning system (GPS) satellite communicator devices.

The procurement of the sprayers for pesticide and protective gear is funded by Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID), and the FAO had procured the GPS devices through its core funding, the statement added.

“[The provision of the equipment] aims to boost desert locust surveillance and control efforts of the government of Pakistan and protect livelihoods and food security of millions of small holder farmers across the country who are already affected by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the statement said.

“We are fighting Covid-19 as well as issue of food security. I am thankful to FAO for their support. The Micron sprayers will change the quantum of locust threat,” Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam said.

“FAO has been actively supporting the ministry in leading the response to the desert locust threat since last year. Today we see the results of this excellent partnership, also thanks to the timely financial support from DFID.”

This equipment will help the food security ministry and the National Locust Control Centre (NLCC) achieve more effective surveillance and control at the required scale. Improved surveillance information will help the NLCC and ministry take strategic decisions regarding the daily anti-locust operations.

Mina Dowlatchahi, the FAO representative in Pakistan said that the surveillance monitoring of areas with little or no connection would help strengthen coordination with and among provinces and ensure that the control operations were directed timely in the most critical areas.

The FAO said that another 30 ULV sprayers were in the pipeline and would be delivered later this summer. This upgraded equipment would contribute to scaling up ground surveillance and control operations to curb the largest desert locust infestation in 25 years in the country, the statement said.


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