The plague of desert locust has spread in various countries in East Africa and South Asia for several months, and its influence keeps expanding. In Pakistan, locusts have damaged agricultural production severely in numerous provinces.
On 24 Feb., 2020, China’s prevention and control group for locust plague arrived in Pakistan to investigate the plague there. Experts said that as locusts are mating and breeding, the locust plague is much serious than that is expected.
Wang Zhuoran, a member of the group and director of National Forestry and Grassland Administration, suggested that based on the current situations of locust plague in Pakistan, the high density desert locusts are highly offensive with serious damage to ecology. As a fiercer eater, desert locust is larger than locusta migratoria manilensis (a common locust in China).
Since Pakistan, which is severely hit by locusts, is an underdeveloped country with limited technologies to prevent and control pests and monitor the number of locust group, scale and movement trail, it is difficult to evaluate locusts and plague in Pakistan comprehensively and accurately. However, according to living environment of desert locusts, there are few possibilities that China will be impacted by this plague of desert locust.
Insect specialists in Pakistan said that adult locusts stop migrating and start breeding in Pakistan currently, but locusts die soon after they lay eggs, so no serious damage will be caused to agricultural production during this period. However, it is predicted that people will be fraught with the next generation locusts. With rich experience in controlling locusts, China will bring benefits to Pakistan, so experts of two countries cooperate with each other closely to eliminate the locust plague together.
It is reported that China’s prevention and control group for locust plague has developed urgent assistance plan that provides support in pesticides and spraying equipment to help Pakistan to eradicate locusts; the current key task is to help Pakistan kill all existing adult locusts, and make material preparation to deal with the next generation newly incubated locusts.
Although there are few possibilities that desert locusts will strike China to cause a plague, China will face such uncertainties as unpredictable outbreak rules, lack of detection technologies and difficulties in prevention and control once she is invaded by locusts.
Therefore, National Forestry and Grassland Administration issued Urgent Notice about Prevention and Control of Desert Locusts in 2020 on 27 Feb., 2020 to give agricultural departments in all areas (especially agricultural departments at border regions) guidance on making good preparation to prevent potential locusts at the early stage.
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