Pest attack

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The armyworm has devastated crops in several provinces of Pakistan. Sindh is plagued by the pest, which has damaged 25 per cent of the rice crop and a substantial part of the banana crop.

Even as Sindh is expected to face a crop deficit of 100,000 tonnes, the current wheat stocks in the North-West Frontier Province and Balochistan are likely to be exhausted by the end of February. But the Sindh agricultural ministry has yet to awaken to the crisis. Department officials have been meeting importers of pesticides to discuss the herbicide shortage. But no specific plan has been drawn up to deal with the obvious menace-maker