After the economic devastation caused by Covid-19, another disaster is imminent. According to media reports and FAO warnings, a mammoth wave of desert locusts is about to arrive in early July. Recent governments have responded with inaction to such matters. Locusts lay waste to crops in the wake of uncoordinated efforts between federal and provincial governments. During the last two months, the arrival of the locusts in parts of Sindh did not have devastating consequences, as wheat, sorghum, cluster bean and mustard, along with other crops had been harvested.

In the Dadu District, the losses were quite catastrophic. The Agriculture Extension Department officers at the site shared that they are disseminating information to farmers through pamphlets and have shared their contact numbers in cases of emergency, and despite their limited human and material resources, they rush to fields to save what they can. According to the experts, the only solution to mitigate the threat is through the administration of aerial sprays, for which the federal government would have to provide a helicopter or an aircraft, along with other necessary resources. If the federal government remains indifferent, the results may be catastrophic. If the prediction of the July arrival of locusts proves to be true and governments make no large scale preparations, then neither the federal nor the provincial government will be able to control the locust attack and counter its devastating impact on agriculture, food security and the overall livelihood of a majority of Pakistanis who either directly or indirectly depend on agriculture for a living.

GULSHER PANHWER,

Johi.