China sends Army to Pakistan: 100,000 ducks to fight locust swarms
New Delhi : In a bid to fight a swarm of crop-eating pests that threaten regional food security, China has deployed ducks to fight.
100,000 ducks are to be sent to Pakistan as early as the second half of this year to combat a desert locust outbreak, according to Lu Lizhi, a senior researcher with the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
The ducks are "biological weapons" and can be more effective than a pesticide, said Lu, who is in charge of the project in tandem with a university in Pakistan.
"One duck is able to eat more than 200 locusts a day," Lu said in a telephone interview on Thursday, citing results of experiments to test the ducks' searching and predation capabilities.
China will be doing a test in the western region of Xinjiang later this year and then they will be sent to Pakistan.
Swarms of desert locusts have been spreading through countries from eastern Africa to South Asia, destroying crops and pastures at a voracious pace.
It will be crucial for China, which shares a land border with Pakistan and India, to prevent an invasion.
However, China does have some shield in the form of the Himalaya mountains that stand as a barrier between the Indian subcontinent and the Plateau of Tibet.