Simon Alika, Kebbi
The Federal Government has approved the sum of N13 billion intervention fund for pest control including grasshoppers, locust, birds in Nigeria to ensure uninterrupted agricultural activities as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the country.
Government explained that with intervention, nutritional and national food security would be guaranteed, as transboundary pests would be tackled.
Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, stated this yesterday during the Flag – off of the 2020 dry season control of Transboundary (migratory) pest (Quelea birds, Locusts and Grasshoppers) for 12 Frontline Northern States in Kebbi State.
The Government as said the initiative would minimise the impact of the COVID–19 Pandemic as well as a guarantee both nutritional and national food security.
Nigeria Daily reports that the stated this during the flag-off of the 2020 dry season control of Transboundary (MIGRATORY) pest (Quelea birds, locusts and grasshoppers) for 12 frontline Northern states held at Birnin Kebbi International Airport, Kebbi State over the weekend.
The 12 states listed as beneficiaries of the fund are Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe and Borno.
The minister noted that the present global COVID-19 pandemic and reports of desert locust outbreak in East Africa and the Middle East with the possibility of a spillover of the huge locust swarm into West Africa including Nigeria, necessitated the proactive measures, including control of all transboundary pests to ensure uninterrupted food supply in the country.
Nanono emphasized that the present administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, “is very determined to fight any menace that would truncate the tremendous success recorded so far especially in the agricultural sector.
He noted that ‘’the choice of Kebbi State for the flag-off is deliberate, in view of the extensive agricultural activities in the state and the immense cooperation and collaboration of the state government in the implementation of agricultural interventions over the years.’’
Nanono said the current administration “is determined to fight any menace that will truncate the successes recorded so far in the agricultural sector”.
He lauded the Executive Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and the other governors of the frontline states for their collaboration and cooperation with the ministry towards reducing the effect of the migratory pests (Quelea birds, locusts and grasshoppers) in the 12 states.
In his remarks, Governor Bagudu commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his vision and people orientated policies in the agricultural sector which he said, would ensure job creation, food security and boost the economy for the betterment of Nigerians.