RAWALPINDI: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the government will undertake every possible effort for locust control since it involves food security of the country.
The Prime Minister was speaking at a briefing on National Action Plan for Locust Control at National Locust Control Centre on Friday.
The Prime Minister accorded in-principle approval for Phase-II of the National Action Plan for Locust Control. It was also decided that the affected farmers would also be compensated through this package.
Imran Khan highly appreciated timely and coordinated response of federal and provincial governments, including Pakistan Army, for effectively controlling locust attack and use of indigenously developed equipment.
He emphasized that a coordinated national response of federal and provincial governments and organisations is required to cope with the expected locust swarm so that crop production is not affected.
He said locust attack combined with COVID-19 was a huge challenge for Pakistan.
The Prime Minister was informed that National Action Plan for Locust Control Phase-I has been completed.
Meanwhile, Minister for National Food Syed Fakhar Imam said that Rs26 billion are required for purchasing planes, vehicles, spray and other necessary material to wipe out locusts.
He said that federal government would provide an amount of Rs14 billion while provincial governments should release Rs12 billion for protection of crops from locusts. He said the discussion is being made with World Bank and Asian Development Bank to invite support for Pakistan regarding provision of funds for controlling locusts.
The minister said discussion for soft loan with foreign banks is underway and the banks would extend help to Pakistan in order to remove locusts from different districts. Imam said that spray has been imported from United Kingdom to protect crops from locusts attack.