Lahore: China has decided to send 100,000 ducks to Pakistan to help save the country’s agriculture sector against continuing bouts of locust attacks, a news source reported. As per sources, this is the largest infestation of locusts experienced by the country in a decade.
According to a report published in ‘The Times’, ducks are the natural enemies of locusts. They previously helped in countering a locust invasion in the Sincan Uygur Autonomous Region 20 years ago.
As per the article, a senior researcher at the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences had revealed that ducks were more effective than pesticides in countering locusts; stating that one duck could eat over 200 locusts per day (based on an experiment conducted to test ducks’ searching and predation capabilities).
China plans to send the ducks to Pakistan at the end of this year or by early 2021. Chinese officials are also expected to lend technical support to Pakistani authorities for fighting the infestation effectively. The said epidemic has destroyed significant volumes of crops in Sindh and Balochistan since October last year.
Member National Assembly (MNA) Riaz Pirzada has revealed that Pakistan has already entered the ‘third category’ phase – in terms of the locust attack rating. He added that the country was not far from entering the last (fourth) category.
According to sources, climate change and local weather conditions play a significant role in locust breeding. In the past, locust swarms in the south of the country followed a migration pattern towards Iran after a while. However, this did not happen this time due to lower ambient temperatures; which caused them to breed and multiply.