Agri Business

India irked over Pakistan’s refusal to attend meeting on locust attack

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 19, 2020 Published on June 19, 2020

We find it unfortunate that Pakistan maintains its reticent attitude even when its own people face a threat of food security, says MEA spokesperson

The Ministry of External Affairs slammed Islamabad on Thursday after it refused to attend a technical-level meeting convened to discuss the locust menace in both the countries. The MEA called it a “reticent attitude” even when a threat looms over Pakistan’s people of food security, India Today reported.

According to MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava, India had taken the initiative of giving a call for intensifying contacts between locust warning organizations of the two countries. These contacts have been taking place over the last 60 years.

"We thought it was important in the wake of the threat posed by desert locusts and we even proposed to Pakistan for coordinated locust control operations. We also proposed that we can facilitate the supply of pesticides for locust control operations," the spokesperson said quoted as saying in the India Today report.

India has already delivered 20,000 litres of pesticide to Iran for desert locust operations, Srivastava said.

"As per available information, the Pakistani side has refused to join this [technical level] meeting, and this meeting was proposed to be held today," he said.

"We find it unfortunate that Pakistan maintains its reticent attitude even when its own people face a threat of food security," he added.

India had proposed to Pakistan and Iran for a coordinated approach in dealing with the alarming threat of fast-increasing desert locusts in the region.

Swarms of locusts have invaded vast swathes of land in India since April 11, 2020. They entered invaded districts of Rajasthan via Pakistan’s Sindh province. A few days later, they had entered the neighbouring state of Madhya Pradesh. Many districts in Uttar Pradesh have now been put on alert.

This locust attack has affected about 90,000 hectares across 20 districts in Rajasthan. Favourable rain-bearing winds aided their transport towards India. This quickly growing swarm is now threatening to amplify into an agrarian disaster, The Hindu reported.

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Published on June 19, 2020
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