According to the "Voice of America" report on May 25, Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Aisha Farouki said that Pakistan received a proposal from India to cooperate with Iran to fight the locust disaster.
"We believe that coordinated measures are essential to meet the challenges posed by desert locusts," Farouki said. But she did not indicate how Pakistan would respond to India ’s proposal.
Farouki said Pakistan is working closely with regional partners including India and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and other global partners to deal with the imminent threat of locusts.
According to reports, in the tripartite cooperation plan proposed by India, India suggested to Pakistan that the two countries coordinate the locust control actions in the border area. India can strengthen the supply of the insecticide malathion to Pakistan.
Analysts said the threat caused by the locust plague forced India and Pakistan to put aside their differences during the New Coronary Pneumonia epidemic and cooperate to deal with double challenges.
In fact, despite the tense relations between India and Pakistan, for decades, the two sides have been carrying out locust-related cooperation to ensure food security in both countries. A team of locust experts from the two countries convenes six meetings a year to discuss the changing situation and share information on pest reproduction methods, control strategies and local forecasts.
Keith Kleisman, senior locust forecaster for FAO, said that in May and June, there will be several waves of "breeding waves" in locusts in southwestern Pakistan and southern Iran, which will affect vast areas of India and Pakistan.
"About the beginning of July, these breeding locusts may be accompanied by more locusts pouring in from East Africa. By then locusts will appear on the border between India and Pakistan." Kleisman warned.
According to Indian media reports, a small group of desert locusts has arrived in India from Pakistan, eastward into Rajasthan and Jodhpur.
In January this year, in order to protect crops from the desert locusts, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan declared a state of emergency in the country.
The latest report of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations warned that the desert locusts are currently breeding on 38% of the land in Pakistan. If the pests are not controlled, the country will face the threat of locust invasion.
Pakistan suffered the worst locust plague in nearly thirty years in 2019, when the country was not prepared enough. However, Pakistani officials and experts from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said that Pakistan has made preparations this year, and the Special Insect Pest Control Team has carried out effective spray insecticide operations in the affected areas of Pakistan.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that this year ’s locust damage to Pakistan ’s agriculture could be as high as US $ 2.2 billion.