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Pakistan set to import anti-locust chemicals from India after UN issues 'TWIN INVASION' alert – report

Pakistan set to import anti-locust chemicals from India after UN issues 'TWIN INVASION' alert – report
Hit by a massive locust invasion, Pakistan is likely to purchase crucial insecticides from arch-foe India in order to deal with the emergency, bypassing its own ban on trade with New Delhi.

Pakistan is facing an overwhelming locust attack, with swarms of the insects already descending on crops in Punjab, the country's agricultural heartland. The invasion is expected to reach its climax in June and July, but the government wants to be in control of the situation by that time.

Now, importing insecticides from India – toxic chemicals that kill locusts en masse – is one of the options available, according to Reuters, citing a document from a Pakistani cabinet meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

The government would then grant a one-time exemption from a trade ban introduced last year in response to India's decision to lift special autonomy status from the disputed Jammu and Kashmir state.

"Yes definitely, there is a fear of locust attack in June, July – this is the reason we are planning and preparing in advance," Dr Falak Naz of Pakistan's Ministry of National Food Security and Research told Reuters.

Pakistan has already taken action against locust attacks, having carried out an aerial spray on 20,000 hectares of land.

Huge groups of desert locusts have been swarming across East Africa and the Arabian peninsula, wreaking havoc on villagers in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

After multiplying in the Horn of Africa, the locust hordes may set out for Hindustan, delivering "a twin strike" together with freshly hatched locusts from southern Iran, Keith Cressman, an official with the UN's Food and Agriculture Program, told IANS news agency last week.

This year's locust invasion is slated to become one of the most devastating outbreaks in decades. The herbivores can put crop production, as well as food security and millions of lives, at risk in places dependent on farming.

Also on rt.com WATCH: Horde of locusts blocks out the skies in Saudi Arabia, Yemen

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