Yunnan enhances cooperation with Pakistan on pest control
by Wang Xiaotong
China and Pakistan are jointly deepening cross-border prevention and control of plant diseases and insect pests, with a joint research center in this field being planned, according to Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences (YAAS).
“Due to the special geographical location, many exotic pests enter China through Yunnan. Pakistan is also the place where many major migratory pests including fall armyworms (Spodoptera frugiperda), desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria), etc. occur, which provides important information for Yunnan and even China to predict whether the pests will enter China,” Luo Yanjie, Head of YAAS International Cooperation Division, told CEN.
Wheat is Pakistan’s dietary staple. Yunnan and Pakistan have similarities in climate, wheat variety characteristics, cultivation conditions, meanwhile confronted with shared challenges including stripe rust, drought, high temperature, etc. Therefore, the two countries can directly share wheat variety resources and technologies.
Since 2016, besides joint research on wheat production, wheat stripe rust has also been a specific focus. It’s learned that an academic work named ‘Wheat Stripe Rust in the Middle East and the Extended Himalayan Region’ by Li Mingju, YAAS Research Fellow, and Pakistani scientist Dr. Sajid Ali is soon to be published.
Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences has established a joint agricultural pest control system with Pakistan, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Bangladesh, etc. for monitoring, early warning and controlling major migratory pests such as desert locust and meadow moth, epidemic diseases and invasive weeds.
Especially, in the research on the invasion of fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences has been cooperating with Pakistan to timely detect pests’ migration route, feeding habits, growth rhythm, which is providing strong technical support for pest prevention and control in both countries.
The exchanges of agricultural experts between Yunnan and Pakistan also have been enhanced. “For instance, Dr. Muhammad Ashfaque from Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) successfully completed his research on rice planthopper in Pakistan and Yunnan when he was at YAAS. After returning to Pakistan, he has been keeping in close touch with us on agricultural pest control, effectively promoting Sino-Pak cooperation in this area,” Luo said.