State-owned insecticide manufacturer HIL (India) Ltd has supplied about 25 tonnes of Malathion 95 per cent ULV to Iran to help the country control the locust menace, the government said on Monday.
The consignment, which has been supplied on government-to-government basis, is expected to reach Iran by June 16, the fertiliser ministry said in a statement.
"India had recently approached Iran and Pakistan for coordinated response to counter desert locust menace in the region. Iran has expressed its willingness to the proposal," it said.
Accordingly, the Ministry of External Affairs placed an order with HIL to manufacture and supply 25 tonne of Malathion 95 per cent ULV to Iran.
Malathion is a chemical mainly used to protect food-producing plants from insects.
As per the reports of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the hopper stage population of locust is building up in Sistan-Baluchistan region of Iran, which shall migrate to India in coming months leading to further crop devastation.
India has taken an initiative to control the locust at its breeding ground itself and approached Iran for coordinated efforts, the statement said.
Desert locusts after severe crop devastation in Horn of Africa, East Africa and Arabian Peninsula have entered India in March-April and affected the field crops, horticulture crops and other plantations in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
The country is experiencing the worst ever locust invasion in the past 25 years.
HIL (India) is also supplying Malathion 95 per cent ULV to the agriculture ministry and the Farmers' Welfare Locust Control Programme in the country. From 2019 till date, the company has supplied more than 600 tonne of this product for this programme, the statement added.