Pakistan plans to use locusts for developing bio-compost


To promote organic farming in Pakistan, the government is planning to turn a tragedy into an opportunity by using locusts for developing bio-compost.

This year, when locusts wreaked havoc on crops and farmlands in the main agricultural lands across Pakistan, the government came up with smart steps to combat the threat. First, they proposed an out of box idea of giving financial incentives for catching locusts and then selling them to poultry framers at the rate of 15 rupees per kilogram, who could then use them as poultry feed. Now the government is in the process of finalizing a project to use the millions of locusts for the purpose of developing bio-compost to promote organic farming.

The testing of the project would be done in Thar and Cholistan. However, if 10 percent of people of the area get active, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research expects a force of around 222,000 people in the local community would be available to combat the attack of desert locusts.

Moreover, the ministry believes there would be full mobilization and protection of biodiversity of the local community to advance the well-informed system in order to protect the cropped area of 23.6 million hectares.

Benefits of turning locusts in bio-compost

The economic benefit of the project will be the introduction of low cost – 60 to 70 percent lower — compost and expected return will be around Rs 2.80 billion in two years, according to the ministry.

It will be beneficial to improve soil fertility, soil health, and soil organic matter. Fertilizers based on locust would have the advantage of more Nitrogen (9pc) and Phosphorus (7pc).

Community mobilization will collect locusts with an incentivized scheme and the community will be paid via Ehsaas program at the designated collection points. Rs 2.5 billion will be spent for community-based locust abolition, proposed by the National Locust Control Centre.

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