ISLAMABAD   -   National Locust Control Center (NLCC) had carried out anti-locust operation over 1,127,059 hectares of pest affected areas during last six months and restricted the attack from 61 districts to only one district.

According to the latest updated released by NLCC on Friday, no locust have been reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Punjab, however it was presented in only 1 district of Balochistan, Lasbella.  

The NLCC’s  anti-locust survey and control operations were also in progress with full force as 202,330 hectares area has been surveyed during last 24 hours and control operation has been carried out on 110  hectares of District Lasbella of Balochistan. 

Meanwhile, a meeting of NLCC was held with Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam in Chair and reviewed the overall situation of desert locust and progress against the pest made so far. 

Coordinator NLCC Lieutenant General Moazzam Ejaz  co-chaired the meeting, which was informed that till date over 55,831,700 hectares  have been surveyed and control operation carried out in 1,127,000 hectares as locust was restricted to only 1 district of the country,  Lasbella.

Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam apprised the meeting that locust can migrate from Rajhastan (India) to Cholistan and Tharparkar (Pakistan).

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) informed about locust forecast. As per the forecast, in Southwest Asia, the situation has improved dramatically as a result of intensive survey and control operations in India and Pakistan. 

Limited breeding continues in southeast Sindh and Lasbella west of Karachi in Pakistan, it said adding that desert Locust situation has improved in Southwest Asia but remains serious in Yemen and parts of East Africa. There is concern that the situation could deteriorate along both sides of the Red Sea.

In East Africa, aerial control operations continue against low numbers of immature swarms that persist in northwest Kenya and northeast Somalia, it added. 

Breeding was underway in north and northeast Ethiopia where control teams are treating numerous hopper bands and groups that continue to form. The situation is expected to prevail during the remainder of September.

The Balochistan government was asked to focus on Lasbella and Uthal for survey and control operation.Sindh mentioned that they were still continuing their survey, while Punjab mentioned that they have done control operation in Bahawalnagar and Bahawalpur.