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FAISALABAD: The University of Agriculture Faisalabad scientists under the project of World Bank and HEC funded Grand Challenge Fund are conducting a survey in Sindh and Balochistan to forecast the locust presence in any case of future threat to food security in Pakistan like 2019 year.

Under the guidance of UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, the team is making all-out efforts to address the issue in order to safeguard the country from future locust challenges. The project is titled Locust Surveillance reporting presence of local locust population in Jiwani area of Balochistan.

Director Department of Plant Protection (DPP) Quarantine Sohail Shahzad, Director DPP Registration AD Abid, and DG DPP Tariq Khan has coordinated the visit of UAF locust research team in previously infested areas of locust in Sindh and Balochistan provinces with principal investigators Professor Dr. Muhammad Jalal Arif and Dr. Shahid Majeed. Whereas Dr. Muhammad Dildar Gogi and Dr. Abid Ali, Master and PhD research students from Department of Entomology, UAF under the Project are also with them to conduct survey.

Dr Jalal Arif said the country was confronting with different challenges. Whereas, the attack of locust, pandemic situation and other challenges had affected the agricultural sector for which the agriculture researchers should come up with solid and innovative solutions. He viewed that the majority of our population is associated with the sector. The poverty and hunger alleviation is directly linked with the agriculture sector. He said that the nexus of agriculture experts, researchers, farmers and industry prerequisite to improve the situation at the national level. He said that the University was talking all possible measure to address the issue. He said locust had emerged one of the largest threats to the sector. He said national emergency was invoked on January 31, 2020, Andrew a National Action Plan-1 was launched in February 2020.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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