FG launches Trans-Boundary Pest Control in Kebbi

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By; KABIR WURMA, Birnin Kebbi.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi state at the weekend launched the National Control on Trans-boundary Pests in seventeen front line States.
 
The front line states are: Adamawa, Borno, Jigawa, Zamfara, Yobe, Kano, Kaduna, Kogi, Kebbi, Plateau, Bauchi, Sokoto, Enugu, Delta, Anambra, Rivers and Bayelsa States.
The Minister, who launched the control, vowed that the Federal Government would not relent until Quelea birds or locust threats are dealt with in the country.
He said it was necessary to ensure prompt control to prevent locust invasion and quelea-birds from hindering the bumper harvest envisaged to tackle the present hunger in Nigeria.
“We had received information that locusts and quelea-birds are messing up in Niger Republic from where they normally attack us in Nigeria.
“As you know, through the efforts the Kebbi government is making, grain production is increasing steadily.
“We are abreast of how dangerous quelea birds can be and locusts if we don’t take active measures.
“President Muhammadu Buhari had instructed me to take action immediately and arrest the menace of locusts, quelea-birds, grasshoppers, and to liaise with the governors in view of the extent of operational and financial support required.
“We organised some chemicals; we engaged spraying company; we want to make sure no quelea bird attacks one inch of our farms.
“We know how hard it is to farm, so, we will not seat in Abuja while our farmers are not happy with pests attacking their farms,” he said.
The Minister urged other States of the Federation to emulate Kebbi government and few agricultural states in the country.
Ogbeh explained that there was no doubt that many people were hungry but Kebbi was exceptional because of its agricultural programme.
The Minister also expressed his gratitude to the farmers and Kebbi Government.
He said the Federal Government would not relent in its effort to assist farmers and prioritise agriculture as part of the effort to diversify the country’s economy.
Also speaking, Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, commended the immediate response made by the Federal Government to the pests.
He said the state government, so far, had expended N100 million in preventing the crisis of quelea birds and locusts.
Bagudu assured the minister that the state government was solidly behind President Buhari’s agenda and would continue to move the state and country to greater height.

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