An EU agro-forestry programme known as Fuel Wood Balance (FUWOBA) has commenced distribution of 760,000 additional free tree seedlings in seven local governments in Katsina State.
The Project Manager, Dr Chris Udokang, said the gesture was to promote afforestation and environmental conservation.
Udokang made the disclosure during the “National Annual Review Seminar on Improving Fuel Wood Balance’’ in the seven participating local governments in Katsina, the state capital, on Wednesday, September 5, 2018.
He said the seedlings were produced during the agency’s 2018 nursery activity through the “Farmer Manage Tree Regeneration Programme’’.
According to him, 7.09 million trees have been planted and maintained by farmers across the seven local government areas in the last three years under the FUWOBA.
He said that the trees planted represented 129.92 per cent of the target value trees set under the programme.
The project manager explained that 5 million trees representing 143.0 per cent of the target were also generated through “farmer managed regeneration approach’’ and two million seedlings through nursery approach.
He said the survival count conducted in December last year indicated that 4.5 million trees planted and maintained had achieved 69.48 per cent survival rate.
Udokang said 55, 638 farmers representing 101.16 per cent of the target households covering 147,355.92 hectare of land had been achieved since inception of the project four years ago.
He said the trees planted include, eucalyptus, mahogany of different varieties, moringa, zizipus and other relevant economic trees that would boost economic fortunes of farmers and conserve the environment.
According to him, the project has also produced and distributed 35,000 mud efficient clean cook stoves within the benefiting communities, 2,800 hoes, 6,800 watering cans.
Also distributed were 7,000 50kg of fertilisers, 7,000 litres of agri-chemical insecticides, 1,200 pressure sprayer machines and 700 animal plough.
Responding, Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Alhaji Sani Masari, commended the sponsors of the project for considering the state to benefit from the project.
He said the state government would procure and distribute 34,000 clean cook stoves for distribution free of charge to farmers in the 34 local governments.
According to the governor, each of the local governments will receive 10,000 clean stoves.
He said the state government would continue to support such excellent initiatives aimed at conserving the environment and empowering people of the state.
In a remark, Alhaji Abubakar Kusada, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, said lawmakers would collaborate with relevant agencies to enact relevant laws to protect the environment.
Mrs Kate Kanebi, an EU official commended the stakeholders on the level of implementation of the project and said the project would be extended to other local government areas.
She said the sponsors of the project would not hesitate to dedicate more funds for sponsoring the project.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that FUWOBA project was introduced in September 2014 by EU facilitated by Oxfam, Iceed and National Planning Commission.
The project is aimed at conserving the environment and economic empowerment.
The participating local governments in the Lot 2 programme of the project are Baure, Mai’adua, Mashi, Daura, Dutsi, Sandamu and Zango.
By Auwalu Yusuf