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Quack fire! China's 'duck army' to help Pakistan fight locusts

Locusts swarms have spread across several areas of Pakistan and have laid waste to thousands of hectares of crops

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | February 27, 2020 | Updated 17:12 IST
Quack fire! China's 'duck army' to help Pakistan fight locusts
Locusts Swarm

Pakistan will receive 1,00,00 specially-bred from China to help fight against the locust plague that has been wreaking havoc across farmlands. This plague has been described by Pakistan PM Imran Khan as the worst locust attack in decades.

Billions of locusts have spread from parts of east Africa to several areas of Pakistan. The locusts have laid waste to thousands of hectares of crops across their path. Now, in Pakistan, ducklings from eastern China's Zhejiang province will act as weapons in the assault against the locusts.

According to Hindustan Times, it could not be confirmed whether the 1,00,000 that are expected to take part in the assault are the same ones that have been stationed in Xinjiang in northwest China along its border with Pakistan occupied Kashmir as reported by Chinese state broadcaster CGTN a week ago.   

China had earlier dispatched a team of experts from the Chinese ministry of agriculture and rural affairs to Pakistan. In order to coordinate control measures against the locusts, the team is at present visiting the worst-affected Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab provinces, according to Chinese state media.

Reports from Zhejiang on Thursday indicated that the army of newly hatched ducklings is disciplined and ready to go.

Lu Lizhi, who is a researcher at Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, elaborated on why ducks are most effective against locusts as compared to other birds

Lizhi said that since ducks like to live in groups they are easier to manage than other birds such as chickens. He added that ducks have stronger vitality, foraging ability, and resistance to cold. One duck can easily destroy a family of locusts. Lizhi said that ducks in a carpet like manner can easily eat over 200 locusts in a day.

Locusts can also be controlled through pesticides but the benefits of biological control are more.

Lizhi said that using pesticides has a high killing cost and leaves a residue that causes environmental pollution.

Once the ducks are done fighting the locusts they can be served as food, told reports.

Also Read: Indian Muslims targeted; world must act now, urges Pak PM 

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