The Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (SCA) president Syed Miran Muhammad Shah, general secretary Zahid Bhurgari, vice president Nabi Bux and others have demanded the Sindh and federal governments to launch a fumigation drive through aircrafts against the locust swarms in a bid to protect the crops and ultimately the provincial economy from destruction.
They said if the provincial and federal governments fail to control the locusts and turn down their demand of immediate fumigation; the situation could be more terrifying even than Covid-19.
They expressed these views while addressing an emergent press conference at Sindh Chamber of Agriculture Hyderabad.
Sharing the details further, they said locust swarms had arrived in Sindh in June 2019 and impacted the eastern part of the country to a great extent.
They said in Nov 2019, Karachi saw the first locust attack in the city since 1961 but it was a pity that the federal government declared a national emergency to protect crops and help farmers on Feb 1, 2020.
They said the government didn't follow it's declaration in letter in spirit resulting the devastation of various crops in Sindh.
The SCA leaders said hopper bands of the schistocerca gregaria commonly known as the desert locust and already had devoured large quantities of crops in over 60 districts of all the four provinces but the federal government was seen to be spectator despite taking prompt action and launching anti-locust drive in an apt way.
They said locusts were believed to have entered into the southwestern Balochistan province, from neighbouring Iran. They mainly originating from deserts and eat anything from bark to seeds and flowers while traveling up to a speed of 93.2 miles (149 kilometers) a day.
The leaders announced a phase-wise protest movement against what they termed as "lukewarm response and lack of seriousness" of provincial and federal governments towards swarm of locusts from June 7.
They said in first phase, the growers in their concerned districts will gather outside press clubs in the district headquarters across Sindh and stage protest demonstration and sit-in adding that there would be a big sit-in show outside Hyderabad press club.
They said if the government still didn't come up with fumigation drive, then in second phase of their protest movement, they will block the highways across Sindh, requesting various growers' bodies to participate in the move.