While urban centers struggle to deal with the pandemic, experts have been keeping track of another looming crisis; locust swarms have been razing crop fields across Africa and Asia. Balochistan has been the worst affected with 33 districts falling victim to the locust attack. However, the worst is far from over as another wave of locusts are headed towards Pakistan through Iran and Afghanistan.
Going over the matter in the national assembly, Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhr Imam, noted that swarms have been moving from African countries such as Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti, through yemen, saudia Arabia and Iran, and finally to Pakistan and India. He added that the food and agriculture organization of the United Nations has been sharing data on the movement of locusts.
The new wave will hit Balochistan in two weeks, entering through Iran. A ground operation has already been carried out over 85,000 hectares with aerial sprays being employed on 500 hectares.
The department of plant protection of the ministry of national food security has employed 100 entomologists, 50 locust assistants and 50 drivers to help with the situation.