Army of ducks deployed to combat locust infestation in Pakistan
China has sent approximately 100,00 ducks to Pakistan to help battle against a huge locust infestation that poses a threat to regional food security.
A few weeks ago, the ducks were deployed 4,827 kilometres (nearly 3,000 miles) from the eastern province of Zhejiang to Pakistan.
According to Lu Lizhi, a researcher at the Zhejiang Provincial Institute of Agricultural Technology, the ducks proved to be an effective method of controlling locust infestations 20 years ago.
In 2000, a 700,000-strong army of ducks and chickens were sent to Xinjiang to gain control over swarms of locusts that devoured over 3.8 million hectares of crops and grassland.
At the time, researchers found the ducks were more efficient than chickens at guzzling down the pests.
One duck is able to eat more than 200 locusts a day. Earlier this month, the plague of locusts in Pakistan prompted Prime Minister Imran Khan to declare a national emergency to protect crops and farmers.
“We are facing the worst locust infestation in more than two decades and have decided to declare a national emergency to deal with the threat,” said Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan .