Islamabad             -        Various Countries and donors have pledged around $168 million to fight locust attack in Pakistan. The agro-economic development lies in structural reforms, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam, said on Thursday while chairing third meeting of Agricultural Development Forum at FAO office, Islamabad.

Federal Minister made it clear that agricultural development can only be achieved by revamping agriculture technology, reorienting agriculture research, transfer of technology and promoting organic farming. During the briefing FAO officials mentioned that the Government of Pakistan has been taking numerous anticipatory actions in collaboration with FAO, in coordination with neighboring countries, and with the support of international partners to address this threat and be prepared for a timely and effective response. In February 2020, the first phase of National Action Plan for locust surveillance and control started. Currently, surveillance and control operations are well underway in all the locust-affected provinces in Pakistan, involving partner organizations and FAO support.FAO has provided support to the locust surveillance and control program in Pakistan by providing technical and operational support from the very early onset. FAO has launched a crisis appeal in for seeking resources for Pakistan to expand its efforts to control the current upsurge of desert locust in the country. Right now FAO has committed $12.5 million  with 3 components including curbing spread of locusts ($ 7 million),safeguarding livelihood ($5 million) and coordination and preparation ($0.5 million).On the other hand, at same forum Asian Development Bank (ADB) also showed interest in supporting research and capacity building in Agriculture sector. Japan also committed for $ 1 million for anti locusts programme. Similarly China has committed $ 4.9 million and World Bank has committed $ 150 million. The FAO official informed that 20 micron air sprayers will soon reach Pakistan. Federal Secretary of The purpose of this FAO crisis appeal is to seek resources for Pakistan to expand its efforts to control the current upsurge of desert locust in the country.