October 15, 2020
Mr. Shigeki Furuta, Chief Representative of JICA Pakistan office signing the Minute of Meeting
Islamabad, 15th October 2020: Mr. Shigeki Furuta, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Pakistan office and Mr. Masoud Baloch, Director General, Directorate of Agriculture Extension, Government of Balochistan signed Minutes of Meeting on the additional assistance for small scale farmers for recovery of damages due to locust attack under JICA's ongoing technical cooperation project "The Project for Capacity Development of Agriculture Extension Services in Balochistan Province".
Pakistan recently experienced a fierce desert locust attack and Government of Pakistan declared national emergency due to presence of prolonged locust swarms and its damages to the agricultural crops particularly in Balochistan province.
Mr. Masoud Baloch, Director General, Directorate of Agriculture Extension, Government of Balochistan signing the Minute of Meeting
Balochistan province remains gateway to locust swarms in Pakistan and this year 33 districts of the Province have reported presence of Locusts swarms which damaged the agricultural crops resulting in huge losses to small-scale farmers. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned of a serious infestation that can lead to a major threat to food security in certain areas of Pakistan.
Keeping in view the situation, Government of Japan and JICA Pakistan office decided to extend the vital support for the livelihood improvement of 2000 small-scale agriculture farmers affected by locust attack in Naseerabad, Jafferabad, Pishin and Killa Saifullah districts to ensure future food security in Balochistan province.
Wheat is major crop of "Rabi Season" and considered as staple food, therefore, JICA decided to provide 200 tons of certified wheat seed, 200 tons of DAP and 400 tons of Urea fertilizers as "Agriculture Package" consisting of 2 bags of certified wheat seed, 2 bags of DAP and 4 bags of Urea fertilizers per 50 kg bag to each farmer. In total, 2000 small-scale agriculture farmers having up to 5 acres of landholding and affected by locust attack will be the beneficiaries.
Furthermore, JICA's cooperation will not only ensure the future availability of wheat as essential food item for food security but also improve livelihood of 2000 small-scale agriculture farmers affected by locust in Balochistan Province.