China wins Pakistani farmers’ hearts in locust fight: Report

ISLAMABAD, , Mar. 10 (INP): Pakistani farmers are grateful that China takes pains to help them fight against the locust plague.

The first batch of aid from China has arrived in Karachi on a chartered flight on Monday. The aid includes 50,000 liters of malathion and 14 air-powered high-efficiency remote sprayers, reports Gwadar Pro App.

Totally 70 drones used for pesticides spray and more other supplies will reach Pakistan through sea route, said Chinese Consul General in Karachi Li Bijian.

He also said China will dispatch experts in this field to provide guidance for their Pakistani counterparts.

Earlier, Chinese experts had visited Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab from February 23 to March 4 to assess the damage caused by the locust swarm.

Anwar Sameejo, a farmer in Tharparker, said the Chinese experts’ visit has lifted the hope of people who had given up amid the locust attacks.

“China has given us a new hope. We feel that we can defeat this calamity. China has won our hearts,” he said.

Shaukat Unar, another farmer, said the locust invasion was a death sentence for the growers. “China’s help is like a rain in peak summer season,” he said.

Unar said, “China is helping us despite the coronavirus issue. We can’t thank them enough.”

The locust outbreak, the worst one in 27 years, has damaged cotton, wheat and corn plants, posing severe threats to agriculture and food security of Pakistan.

Officials in Sindh province fear the infestation will devastate the supply of cotton, the local cash crop, ahead of its harvest in the coming months.

Local surveys of the damage are continuing, but the Sindh Chamber of Agriculture says nearly half of all crops have been destroyed near Karachi.

Sindh information minister Nasir Hussain Shah said, China has always supported Pakistan through thick and thin. “China has responded again. They have proved to be our iron brothers,” he said.

Sindh minister for science and technology Nawabzada Taimur Talpur said China is a friend that always helps in need.

“We are optimistic to save something for the farmers. The damage by the locust is huge but we should try to save what we can. China is on our side,” he acknowledged.

INP/JAVED