Pakistan, China to cooperate on prevention, control of plant pests, diseases

BEIJING, Mar. 20 (INP): Pakistan and China have decided to cooperate for plant pests and diseases’ prevention and control, as a new round of addressing locust threats.

The work to this effect is likely to begin in May if the locust threat isn’t controlled well, according to a survey report by China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA).

According to Gwadar Pro App, it was agreed under an MOU, that the two sides will jointly establish a center for the crop pests and diseases’ sustainable management in Pakistan.

They will carry out a comprehensive cooperation on plant protection, including monitoring and early warning, demonstration, mutual recognition of standards, personnel training, and emergency response.

Now, Pakistan is facing a severe locust threat, said the survey report of the work team to assist Pakistan in combating desert locust which was sent by MARA.

The Chinese work team predicts that the current locust eggs will hatch in April and become adult in May, after analyzing the climatic conditions, characteristic of the plant and locust breeding in Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh.

In addition, locusts from India and Iran may invade Pakistan. If not controlled well, it may swarm a huge number of locusts and swell into a plague of locusts.

Chinese work team suggested Pakistan make long-and short-term control plans, with combined efforts from chemical pesticides and bio-prevention methods.

The first batch of aid from China has arrived in Karachi on March 9. The aid includes 50,000 liters of malathion and 14 air-powered high-efficiency remote sprayers.

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.

INP/Javed