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Govt routes quelea birds threatening grains production in Bauchi

The Federal Government has covered 70 per cent of farmlands threatened by quelea birds in Bauchi State, through aerial spraying.

Quelea birds
Quelea birds

Alhaji Mohammed Yusuf, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development director in Bauchi State, made the declaration in Bauchi, the state capital, on Friday, February 5, 2021.

Yusuf said the exercise was carried out in five area councils of Bauchi State out of the 16 council areas earlier reported to have been threatened by the pests.

He listed the areas covered to include Bauchi, Ganjuwa, Toro, Alkaleri and Itas Gadau and said that the exercise was conducted in one week.

“About 30 locations which are roosting sites for the birds and grasshoppers were sprayed on land and from the air,’’ he said.

He said the other 11 council areas were not covered yet because of inadequacy of resources and also because the level of threat in the areas was low.

Yusuf said the Federal Government had earlier received several reports of the birds devastating cereal crops in some states in the northeast and the northwest.

According to him, the affected states are Kano, Bauchi, Yobe, Jigawa and Borno.

Yusuf observed that two million quelea birds could destroy 50 tonnes of grains daily and 1,500 tonnes in 30 days, thereby causing huge losses to farmers.

“It is not surprising that quelea birds and grasshoppers are increasing in numbers. This might have been as a result of increased production of cereal crops like rice, wheat, maize and millet.

“The common way to control the birds is through control programme by spraying infested areas with chemicals using light and low flying aircraft designed for such purpose,’’ Yusuf said.

By Huseyn Abubakar Mbar

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