RAHIM YAR KHAN     -    The threat of locusts attack on standing crops has subsided reduced because its breeding season has concluded due to the start of winter season and it is migration towards coastal areas of North.

Director General Punjab Agriculture Pest Control Syed Zafaryab Haider informed reporters here the other day. Haider had arrived at Rahim Yar Khan to check recent complaints of locusts attacks in the district. He said that mature locusts damage the crops less than newly-born insects. He said that last time in 1997, locusts had appeared in the desert of Bahawalpur division and later over the past 25 years, the insect could not be spotted across country.

He informed that basically locusts is a insect of desert, which starts its journey from African countries and later after travel through Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iran it enters the coastal areas of Balochistan in the month of March where it started breeding.

He revealed that a female locust delivers 80 to 150 eggs and after breeding season, it enters Nara desert in Khairpur district of Sindh in April 2019. In the end of June locusts enter some areas of RYK desert (Cholistan).

Meanwhile, Mr Haider spoke at an awareness workshop organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of UNO of all stakeholders of three provinces. Haider added that Punjab Agriculture Secretary Dr Wasif Khurshid wrote a letter to federal government to combat the insect. Then DLC which works under the ministry of Food Security and Research provided 35000 litres of Malathian ULV in July 2019 which was in very low quantity and expired because it was stored for last many years. He said that in the month of August 2019, two aircrafts were also sent by federal government for Arial spray.

Later, the Punjab government requested different pesticides firms who donated 17000 litres of insect killing poison. Haider claimed that in August, the Punjab government provided funds for emergency purchase of Malathian and 10,000 litres of it was imported from China to control the locusts in RYK and Bahawalpur and Punjab with federal government also added 12200 liters of poison in September. Last month DLC has placed ordered for 100000 liters of fresh Malathian for precautionary measures in future to control the locusts, Haider said.