China is all set to send an army of 10,000 ducks to Pakistan to fight marauding locusts which are posing a. a threat to food security in the country. Swarms of locusts have also invaded other countries from eastern Africa to southern Asia.
According to reports, a desperate Pakistan has asked its people to consume locusts to reduce their numbers and save crops.
The ducks are expected to arrive in Pakistan in the second half of 2020. Ducks are said to be more effective than pesticides. Senior researcher Lu Zhi said a duck can eat at least 200 locusts a day, the Mint reports.
Before sending the ducks, China will conduct a trial in Xinjiang. A delegation of Chinese agricultural experts has taken stock of the situation. China's CGTN channel recently put out a video on ducks waiting to attack locusts swarming farms.
The pest plague is also caused by unseasonal rain and substandard seeds that cannot resist pests.
Banking on the Himalayas
The pest plague is also said to have reached India, posing a threat to crops in the highly populous country. Unlike neighboring countries India and Pakistan, China is counting on the Himalayan mountains to act as a barrier between the locusts and the country.
The locust outbreak has been affecting eastern Pakistan since June 2019, reaching Karachi in November last year, the first time the port city is facing a locust outbreak since 1961.
An emergency was declared by provincial Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in nine southern districts including Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Lakki Marwat, Bannu, Karak, Kohat, Hangu, North and South Waziristan on January 29, 2020.
The Pakistan government declared an emergency on February 1, 2020 and has given a call to protect farmers and crops.
The help from China comes at a time when it is battling the coronavirus outbreak with more than 2,700 deaths and nearly 80,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.