Pak govt to convert locusts into organic fertilisers

Islamabad: The Pakistan government has decided to convert locust swarms, which have been described by some as a bigger threat than the coronavirus pandemic, into fertilisers with the help of communities, a media report said on Thursday.

The Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) has proposed that locusts collection will be incentivised through community mobilisation to control the hoppers at the grass-root level, according to an official statement issued on Wednesday.

“Initially, locust will be unruffled through community mobilisation under the incentivised scheme,” it added.

Professionals will also be involved from research, extension, academia and civil society in compost processing activities.

Later, a standard compost will be made from a mix of locust and other bio-waste material.

The expected outcomes from the project will be to improve crop productivity by 10-15 per cent, reduction in the use of recommended chemical fertilisers up to 25 per cent, improve soil organic matter (SOM), soil fertility and soil health.

Through this scheme organic farming will be promoted in Pakistan.

The locust plague across the country is feared to create food shortages, and the Pakistani government earlier this year declared national emergency over locust swarms after the pest destroyed large quantities of crops across the country.

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