ISLAMABAD         -  While giving in-principal approval for the second phase of National Action Plan for Locust Control, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that his government will undertake every possible effort for locust control since it involves food security of the country.

Speaking at a briefing on National Action Plan for Locust Control at National Locust Control Center, the Prime Minister said the government will compensate the affected farmers through this package. The Prime Minister appreciated the governments of China, Japan, and UK for providing technical and other assistance for locust control.

The PM highly appreciated timely and coordinated response of federal and provincial governments, including Pakistan Army, for effectively controlling locust attack and use of indigenously developed equipment. He emphasised that a coordinated national response of federal and provincial governments and organisations is required to cope with the expected locust swarm so that crop production is not affected.

He said locust attack combined with COVID-19 was a huge challenge for Pakistan. The Prime Minister was informed that National Action Plan for Locust Control Phase-I had been completed. Engineer-in-Chief Pakistan Army / National Coordinator NLCC Lt Gen Moazzam Ijaz

 gave a detailed briefing on locust control measures in affected areas of the country.

The prime minister was also briefed about the coordinated efforts being made for monitoring, survey and control, inter-organizational coordination, resource allocation & mobilization and awareness campaign for locust control at national, provincial and district level.

The meeting was informed that due to the trans-boundary nature of locust swarm movement; close liaison with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and affected countries in the region was being maintained to take timely pre-emptive measures.

It was informed that a locust swarm movement is expected from Horn of Africa via Iran and another from India, for which necessary measures were in place. Federal ministers Syed Fakhar Imam, Asad Umar, Senator Shibli Faraz, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Finance Advisor Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, SAPMs Lt. Gen. (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa and Dr. Shahbaz Gill, Chairman NDMA and senior officers attended the briefing. Chief Ministers of Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and chief secretary of Balochistan participated via video link.