The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has provided upgraded equipment to boost Pakistan’s surveillance and control operations currently under way to curb the desert locust infestation in the country.
The procurement of the sprayers for pesticide and protective gear, funded by the Government of United Kingdom through its Department for International Development (DFID), and the GPS devices, procured by FAO through its core funding, aims to boost desert locust surveillance and control efforts of the Government of Pakistan and protect livelihoods and food security of millions of small holder farmers across the country who are already affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This upgraded equipment for control operations and new technology for surveillance will contribute to scaling up ground surveillance and control operations that are currently underway to curb the largest desert locust infestation in 25 years in the country.
The sprayers will allow to gear up control operations in the multiple and vast desert areas under threat to contrast in particular the expected next phase of Desert Locust threat following the Monsoons. The PPE will ensure the full safety of the teams delivering control operations on the ground. Finally, the GPS devices configured with the eLocust3g application is an important innovation that, together with the eLocust3m application for mobile phones, will allow to expand, and improve in quality the coverage of surveillance data and interoperability amongst the Provinces and at Federal level, including in the many locust prone areas not covered by telecom network in Pakistan.
“Desert Locusts are a huge challenge as the swarms can destroy thousands of acres of vegetation. This equipment will help us maximize our efforts in confronting the locust threat. A coordinated and synergized effort is required to help our government confront this challenge,” said Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister of National Food Security & Research.