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FAO trains 500 farmers, officials against locust attack.

ISLAMABAD -- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in collaboration with the Federal Plant Protection and Agriculture Department, Punjab have trained over 500 local farmers, government officials and technical staff in order to create awareness about different types of locusts, besides introducing measures to control any possible attack of locust on seasonal crops.

The FAO organized a two-day capacity building training, followed by one desert locust, survey and control for over 500 farmers to increase their general awareness about the different types of locusts and the problems that arise with changes in climate patterns.

The training, which was aimed at facilitating control measures and technical capacity building of 45 professionals working in the Department of Plant Protection, and Provincial Agriculture Departments to counter the phenomenon of a desert locust outbreak in areas of Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab.

Learning activities ranged from survey methods to spray timings and other standard operating procedures of ground desert locust survey operation. The pre-existing threats and the control operations that were put in place in Balochistan to prepare for a possible attack were also presented.

Addressing the concluding secession of the workshop, Malik Numan Ahmad Langrial, Minister for Agriculture Punjab Said , the awareness sessions were vital for farmers, their families, and entire cities.

The minister appreciated the efforts of all the departments who prevented a locust attack due to timely action. "Keeping in view that a locust outbreak can destroy livelihoods, we must work together to exchange information and prevent any such outbreak," he added.

'FAO is mandated to provide information on the general locust situation to all interested countries and to give timely warnings and forecasts to those countries in danger of locust attack. This year in view of locust spread in Balochistan, followed by its outbreak in Sindh and Punjab provinces, FAO is actively engaged with key stakeholders to build technical capacity of relevant departments,' said Shakeel Ahmed Khan, Sector Specialist, FAO Pakistan.

FAO operates a Desert Locust Information Service that receives and analyzes data from locust-affected countries to assess the current locust situation, provide forecasts and if necessary issue warnings and alerts in order to keep the global community informed of locust developments and threats.

The Locust situation monitoring and streamlining of control is vital to ensure food security and protect agriculture.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Sep 1, 2019
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