Gov. Alhaji Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State has approved the release of N40 million for aerial spray of pesticides in farms across the state to kill invading quelea birds from neighbouring Benin and Niger Republics.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Mineral Resources, Alhaji Maigari Abdullahi-Dakingari, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on Thursday, August 4, 2022, in Birnin-Kebbi, the state capital.
He said that the approval was to continue with the Federal Government’s efforts in preventing imminent loss of crops in the state.
“When the rainy season started, we were taken aback with the invasion and attack of quelea birds, migrating from neighbouring countries of Benin and Niger Republics.
“We contacted the Federal Government for their intervention and aerial spray was conducted in some local government areas bordering Benin and Niger Republics,” he said.
Abdullahi-Dakingari said the pest control was a very important element in agriculture, as such migratory birds annually wreak havoc not only in the state but in Sokoto and Zamfara states.
He said that migratory birds like queleas, and insects such as locusts and grasshoppers, constituted serious threats to cereal crops like rice, maize and others.
“This is because of our strategic location makes it a significant flashpoint for entry of migratory pests into the country.
“It is on that basis that, Gov. Atiku Bagudu, approved the release of N40 million for flight hours, pesticides and logistics to continue with the work the federal government had started in order to prevent the loss of crops by farmers in the state,” he said.
Some of the Local Government Areas (LGAs) where farms are to be sprayed with pesticides include Argungu, Dandi, Bunza, Bagudo, Yauri, Zuru, Augie and Gwandu.
By Ibrahim Bello