Faisalabad                     -               University of Agriculture Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr Muhammad Ashraf has directed the university’s Locusts’ Research and Development Cell to develop new bio pesticides to control the birth rate of the insect that is playing havoc with the agriculture sector.

He was chairing the performance review meeting of the locust cell of the varsity here on Monday. Chairman Entomology Dr Masnoor Sahi, Dr Jalal Arif, Dr Muhammad Saghir, Dr Amer Rasul, and others scientists.

Dr Muhammad Ashraf directed the meeting to analyze its rearing, life cycle and other aspects on the scientific basis.

He said that Entomology, Bio Chemistry, and Physics scientists would work jointly on the research.  He said that the Dhatura, Neem, Euclyptus, and number of other plants’ extracts should immediately be tested on the population present in the lab for gauging their toxic effects against the locust. He showed his concern that the excessive use of lambda cyhaothrin on locust control could cause the shortfall of the pesticide for cotton use. “Therefore, the scientists should develop effective and low cost bio pesticides to avert its attack in future,” he said, adding that the government was expecting from the UAF scientists to do tangible research and development work and devise a strategy to curb the crisis.

Dr Masoor ul Hassan said that they had submitted the different research projects on locust with HEC that will help address the locust at national level. He viewed that the tangible research and development work would pave a way to fight the issue.

Provincial Focal Person from Academia for research on locust Prof. Dr Jalal Arif said that all possible measures were being taken to conduct the valuable locust research work for the sustainable management. He said that active working on scientific basis is in full swing that will bring a positive result.  He said they would provide a compressive and effective solution to the Punjab Government and Ministry of Food Security to curb the issue. 

He told the meeting that UAF Entomology scientists Dr DildarGogi, Dr Shahid Majeed, Dr Muhammad Tayyab, Dr Nazir and Dr Sufiyan submitted the research proposals on Eco Biology host plant feeding; systematic and Morpholoigical characteristics; and molecular and biotechnical approaches. Dr Ameer Rasul and Dr Sagheer briefed the meeting about the current field situation and botanical plant extracts.