26 October 2022, Pakistan: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has published a story on its website which highlights the fight against desert locusts in Pakistan.
Entitled ‘Pest-Proof, Climate-Ready, Resilient Agriculture: Pakistan,’ the story is concerned with the ‘Strengthening Food Security Post-COVID-19 and Locust Attacks’ project.
CABI shared its expertise on the project, which is funded by ADB, the Climate Change Fund, and the Netherlands Trust Fund.
The ADB story also includes a video which shows CABI staff working in the field as part of research conducted to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and locust invasions on farm households in the Punjab and Sindh provinces of Pakistan.
CABI is credited in the video which further explains how ADB and partners helped Pakistan in early 2020 tackle the largest locust infestation in 25 years amid COVID-19.
Other work by CABI in collaboration with ADB and other partners – such as the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) and the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) – included jointly arranging a high-level two-day joint-knowledge sharing webinar.
The webinar was also arranged by the Australian Plague Locust Commission (APLC) and was attended by the Honourable Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister (MNFSR), and Mr Yong Ye, ADB country Representative in Pakistan
It was held in February 2022 to address international best practices and sustainable ways of fighting desert locust and other crop pests to help ensure the country’s food security.
CABI also supported the DPP and the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) during the locust upsurge by the capacity building the entomologist for locust management.
Climate and technology-based solutions
In the ADB story, ADB senior natural resources specialist and project officer Noriko Sato, said, “The project is offering climate-ready, technology-based solutions that will enhance data collection, pest management, and crop production to increase the resilience of Pakistan’s agriculture sector.”
The story adds that: ‘The project is demonstrating information and communication technology (ICT) and remote-sensing technologies for crop data collection to provide more reliable and timely information on agriculture production, commodity prices, and the supply chain.
‘Along with surveys conducted across the provinces to collect sample data on the impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns and locust infestation on farming households and commodity price fluctuations, crop data collection can prove useful for more effective policy making and real-time decision-making in emergency situations caused by natural hazards and shocks.’
Results of the project, which will close at the end of November, includes 2,000 farmers and staff members of local non-governmental organizations provided with best practices in sustainable crop protection.
Three technologies or practices related to climate-adaptive seed development and crop production have also been demonstrated or developed as part of the project.
Furthermore, the diagnostic assessment of food security and agriculture completed to guide policy and decision making in emergency situations – caused by natural hazards and shocks – has also been achieved.
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