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ISLAMABAD: The government will spend Rs26 billion to eradicate desert locust from across the country in the locust-hit areas.

Out of Rs26 billion, the provincial governments will contribute Rs12 billion to counter the locust, said Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (MFS&R) Syed Fakhar Imam on Saturday.

The minister said that China had extended financial help of USD 4.9 million to Pakistan by giving it 53,000 liters of spray, sprayers and drones.

He said 20 aircrafts would be used for anti-locusts operation.

Imam said that Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations would handover 20 micronair sprayers in the next week.

This was stated by Imam, while chairing 5th meeting of the National Locust Control Centre (NLCC).

He said that locust attacks had been minimized by combined efforts in majority areas. An official of Ministry of NFS&R has given a presentation regarding National Action Plan (NAP) for anti-locusts operation.

The locust situation in Pakistan has found a new corridor - they are entering Pakistan from Afghanistan - to DI Khan and Waziristan, he said. He said that the teams on the ground were sent out at night to spray and destroy locust when it rested. He said the federal and provincial governments, district administration and farmers were coordinating to tackle the locust attacks.

The NLCC along with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and district administrations were making effort to control the locust.

About 8,000 army troops were deployed for the anti-locust operation, he said.