The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has urged the government to fully support the farmers in the war against locust as the worst attacks in decades had devastated the agriculture sector in various parts of the country.
The LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that according to reports locust swamps have destroyed around 40 percent of wheat, cotton, vegetables and other crops in different parts of Sindh and now the locust swamps have entered into Punjab that should be a matter of great concern for all.
The LCCI President said that crops, particularly cotton had already been badly affected by rains and now locusts attack is adding fire to the fuel. He said that our farmer brothers are too much worried and compelled to see their crops being destroyed in front of their eyes with tears.
He said that they are trying to run the millions of locusts away through self helps and with desi methods due to lack of support from the concerned authorities. Despite all efforts, farmers are unable to save their yields. He said that gangs of locust landing the cropped area and destroying everything in minutes.
Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that the catastrophe has targeted some of the poorest rural parts of the country where poverty is already at its peak and farmers are heavily in debt.
“Millions of locusts are present in Pakistan and a failure to control meant they would grow and would become more devastating”, the LCCI President added.
Being an agrarian country, Pakistan cannot afford to lose its agriculture base. If it happens, the country would be facing a severe threat of food security and the unavailability of raw materials for the industry that would make the national economy vulnerable.
The LCCI President demanded compensation for the affected farmers so that they can pay back their loans and can earn bread and butter for their families. He said that a special plan should be devised to kill locusts in all parts of the country.