KARACHI: BASF is collaborating with the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) and the Department of Agriculture Extension to increase safety awareness of locust control in Sindh and Punjab provinces. BASF recently conducted a series of workshops in the locust-hit areas to share knowledge and experience with local agricultural communities, helping them understand the importance of safety in pest control.
“Safety is at the heart of our operations. As a leading producer of agricultural solutions, we are committed to sustainable agricultural development by providing expertise and technical support to the farming communities. The safety awareness campaign provides farmers and sprayers with knowledge and tools to implement safe agricultural practices,” said Faisal Akhtar, Managing Director, BASF Pakistan.
BASF also distributed 300 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) safety kits for pesticide applicators and navigators working in the locust-effected areas. The PPE kits consist of a pair of nitrile gloves, three particulate filter masks and a set of protective eyewear as recommended in the material safety data sheets of the pesticides being used by DPP. These items are accompanied by an easy-to-understand picture-based instruction leaflet.
Sindh and Punjab provinces are currently battling a massive swarm of desert locusts which is threatening the country’s main crops: cotton, mango, banana and vegetables. Pakistan is an agriculture reliant economy with the sector being one of the major employers, providing jobs for tens of thousands across the country.
“We have been combatting this voracious pest in Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab provinces. The operation involves the use of highly toxic pesticides that can adversely affect the health of the field staff. We are thankful to have BASF helping us in creating awareness and providing personal protective kits to our teams. The support will help create safe farming practices in the country,” said Muhammad Tariq Khan, Technical Director, Department of Plant Protection.
A team from BASF has conducted safety awareness sessions in the district offices of major affected cities, such as Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Benazeerabad Shaeed, Khairpur, Sukkur, Saalehpat, Naran Desert, Sadiqabad and Bahawalpur. Says in press release