KARACHI: Community World Service Asia (CWSA) is working in partnership with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to combat locust infestations in various parts of Pakistan.
Through financial support from the Japanese Embassy in Islamabad, Japan Platform and CWS Japan, 58,502 liters of Lambda Cyhalothrine EC2.5% pesticides are being provided to Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMAs) of the respective provinces. The intervention will ensure a safe and secure application of the pesticides as per the plant protection guidelines.
According to a press release, CWSA is also supporting 1,600 farmer families with conditional cash grants for tilling/ploughing of lands to eradicate the locust eggs before hatching. With this support, around 16,187 hectares of land will be made free of locust eggs and will be prepared for the next cultivation. As an additional preparedness measure, around 2,000 farmers will be trained on Integrated Crop Management and Integrated Pest Management approaches to be able to efficiently manage similar threats in the future.
Many Pakistani farmers, particularly in Sindh province, are currently struggling to combat a series of natural hazards that have left agrarian communities crumbling. The country’s agricultural sector has been struggling for years in the face of drought and dwindling water supplies and since last year has been hit by the worst locust plague to hit the country in nearly three decades.
Pakistan declared tackling the locust infestationas a national emergency in February 2020 as it destroyed huge areas of crop lands in the country’s most fertile province of Punjab. The locusts have decimated entire harvests in the country’s agricultural heartlands and have sent food prices spiraling.