Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research in its meeting inquired reasons as to why the ministry was ill prepared to deal with the massive locusts attack in the province of Sindh which has caused immense damage to the Rabbi crops and asked for presentation of the periodic survey reports conducted regarding the locusts attack for 2019 and preceding years.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah here at the Parliament House on Thursday and was attended among others by Senators Seemee Ezdi, Najma Hameed, Hafiz Abdul Karim, Fida Muhammad, Sajjad Hussain Turi, Secretary National Food Security and Research, President ZTBL, Vice President Pakistan Central Cotton Committee and officials from the ministry.
The committee expressed deep sense of concern that the ministry was unable to conduct proper surveillance due to which farmers could not take precautionary measures and huge loss was experienced. The lack of pesticides, lack of personnel for on-ground activity, lack of funds, lack of coordination are the major reasons for this loss as this is a question of national disaster. The Committee recommended that emergency funds need to be provided, and improvement of capacity of aircraft and ground fleet needs to be carried out.
The locust attack was witnessed in south of Balochistan in March 2019 and in Sindh at the end of May. After the massive attack 1 aircraft was provided, an area of 279,555 hectares was treated while 864040 hectares area was surveyed, 35,000 litres of pesticides were also provided.