Government to fight locust crisis with China’s ‘chicken attack’. What is it?
Another solution for the locust problem is a pilot project in Okara, which involves farmers earning money by catching locusts.
To fight Pakistan’s locust crisis without the use of any harmful pesticides, the government of Pakistan is planning to launch a pilot project inspired by China’s chicken attack.
In February 2020, the government approved a ‘National Action Plan’ against to fight the locust swarm attack and is taking aggressive steps to fight the crisis. Airborne spraying of 300,000 liters of is currently underway.
Director of the Technical Department of Plant Protection in Sindh Tariq Khan said another migration was expected by the end of May and in June and July.
An animal biologist at the University of Agriculture in Peshawar warned that the pesticides being used are harmful to humans and wildlife.
‘’No bio-safe pesticide is being used currently. These chemical sprays are toxic to the environment and will affect humans, wildlife and livestock’’, he said.
The Okara solution:
Another solution for the locust problem is a pilot project in Okara, which involves farmers earning money by catching locusts. The locusts are then added in high-protein chicken feed by feed mills. This idea was proposed by a civil servant in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research Muhammad Khurshid and a biotechnologist from Pakistan Agriculture Research Council Johar Ali.
They said that they had been mocked for proposing the idea since no one thought that people could catch locusts and sell them. This idea came after Yemen faced famine followed by a locust swarm attack, leading to a ‘eat the locusts before they eat the crop’ approach.
A three-day trial for this plan was also done, where people were told that they’d be paid Rs.20 per kilogram of locusts. The community caught seven tonnes a night and sold them to nearby plants for making chicken feed. The farmers made over Rs.20,000 per person for one night’s work.
The General Manager of Hi-Tech Feeds Muhammad Athar said that his firm fed the feed to broiler chickens in a five-week study and all the results came out positive. The feed was high in nutritional value and beneficial for chickens.
Here’s all that you need to know about China’s chicken attack:
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