On March 5, the first batch of malathion production from Dezhou Lvba Fine Chemical Co., Ltd was successfully sent by China’s Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs via a Chinese government private aircraft to Pakistan. Recently, the outburst of desert locusts in Pakistan and surrounding countries has severely affected the local ecological environment and production in the farming industry. Some media reported that China would send 100,000 ducks to Pakistan to combat locusts.
Based on news reports, Mr. Zhang, a professor at China Agricultural University and a member in the locust disaster control workgroup in China, said that the Chinese government so far has not made such plan yet. “Using ducks to kill locusts is only applied to small-scale outbreaks or under special conditions. For large-scale outbreaks, we suggest using emergency measures to immediately control locusts, such as treatment with chemicals and pesticides, the applications of microbial pesticides, and large-scale pesticide spraying by aircraft.
According to research, the locusts in the locust disaster areas in Pakistan have recently entered their mating season, leading to locusts laying eggs in the sand. This usually does not cause great harm to the environment, but once the eggs hatch and become larvae, the situation will be gravely concerning. According to an expert, “larvae will not fly, and they will devour a whole patch of field.” Expert groups believe that the locust disaster in Pakistan will be severe and there may be risk of further outbreak.
China develops four-combination plan to control current and future locust outbreaks
The Chinese workgroup has formulated a preventive treatment plan for the locust disaster in Pakistan that aims to accurately monitor, manage, and control the locust disaster with the support of cutting-edge technology. The plan includes a combination of short term emergency treatment and long term sustainable measures and a combination of chemical and environmental treatment. Furthermore, the plan will utilize a combination of pesticide spraying by aircraft and by machines on the ground, as well as a combination of control of the locust disaster on a local scale and the protection from outside migrating pests.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Food Security and Research entirely agrees on the four-combination method put forward by China and appreciates the timely rescue and emergency supplies offered by China. The head of Pakistan’s Ministry of Food Security and Research said that China offered to help Pakistan with locust control when Pakistan needed help the most, and that China considered Pakistan’s difficulty as its own difficulty, which is another proof of the brotherhood between China and Pakistan. He also said that in the future, Pakistan will learn from China’s extensive experience and technology in controlling locusts. China soon will offer professional consultative and technological support to Pakistan and will provide emergency materials and equipment, as well as personnel training, depending on Pakistan’s needs.
China unlikely to face locust outbreak, but has response measures prepared
China’s locust disaster control workgroup believes that the probability of desert locusts invading China’s farmland is low. This is because the locust disaster area in Pakistan is located in the desert region between a tropical zone and subtropical zone. The environment in China does not match the natural habitat of locusts. Additionally, China does not have any historical record of desert locusts.
However, some experts think that desert locusts may directly invade Tibet from Pakistan and India, or they may spread from Yunnan province to Sichuan province via Myanmar, or they may fly to Xinjiang through Kazakhstan. Recently, Yunnan province has already developed a monitoring system to track desert locusts in case of a locust outbreak in China. In Sichuan province, a headquarters for locust prevention has been established, and chemicals and pesticides for combatting locusts and a professional prevention group are ready.
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