A Chinese team of experts completed its mission of hammering out solutions to counter locust swarms in Pakistan and returned to Beijing on March 5, 2020.
The team was sent to Pakistan by the Chinses Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. During their stay there, the Chinese experts have visited almost all affected areas, including Tharparkar desert in southern Sindh province, Pishin and Dalbandin in Balochistan Province, and Sargodha and Jhang districts in Punjab Province. The Chinese experts met with relevant Pakistani officials and peers from Pakistan’s Ministry of National Food Security and Research, the National Disaster Management Authority, the Pakistani military department, provincial-level agriculture and plant protection agencies, and local governments to learn about the latest locust plague.
The Chinese team concluded that the locust attack in Pakistan is very severe with possible threat of the next generation of locust swarms, afflicting agricultural production and food security in Pakistan. In light with the control strategy of “precise monitoring, district-specific approaches, science-based effective and efficient control”, the Chinese team provided an informative package detailing a prevention and control plan for Pakistan despite of the chance of a locust invasion of China is very low. The Chief of the Chinese team also expressed willingness to offer consultancy and technical support to increase Pakistan’s comprehensive capacity in locust control.
The Pakistani Ministry of National Food Security and Research completely agreed with China’s proposal, praising timely technical assistance and equipment aid by China for locust control in Pakistan. Pakistan hopes to draw on China’s experience on locust control and jointly establish a mechanism for sustainable integrated pest management (IPM) with China.