Pakistan to get help from India, China to fight against locust outbreak

Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing has offered assistance to Pakistan to fight against the crisis.

Pakistan has declared the locust outbreak as a ‘national emergency’ as it witnesses the worst crisis in nearly two decades. At the time when the country is already suffering from the highest inflation in 12 years, locust attacks have destroyed 40% of crops around the country , causing widespread panic.

To fight the crisis, Pakistan is thinking of allowing a one-time import of insecticides from India. All trade operations between India and Pakistan were halted after India suspended Kashmir’s special status on 5 August 2019.

Taking help from arch-rival India was one of the key items on the recent agenda meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan. Federal ministers and senior officials of all four provinces marked their presence as well. 

China offers help:

Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing has offered assistance against the crisis. The ambassador also showed interest in increasing the import of meat and agricultural products like potatoes and onions from Pakistan. A high-level meeting to discuss this matter is expected in May 2020.

According to media reports, China is also considering to provide aerial support to Pakistan and also assist by supplying pesticides.

Pakistan declared the locust situation a ‘national emergency’ after crop-eating swarms attacked and battered crops in Sindh and Balochistan. The provinces are the country’s main agricultural regions. After the crop loss, prices of sugar and flour surged dramatically. The prices are expected to increase even more in the upcoming months. 

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