By James Emejo
The federal government has approved the sum of N13 billion intervention fund for pest control across the country.
The fund is to ensure uninterrupted agricultural activities during 2020 farming season, control trans boundary pests and minimise the impact of the COVID – 19 pandemic as well as guarantee both nutritional and national food security.
Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, disclosed this during the flag – off of the 2020 dry season control of Trans boundary (Migratory) pest (Quelea birds, Locusts and Grasshoppers) for 12 Front line Northern states which was held in Kebbi State at the weekend.
He said the global pandemic and reports of desert locust outbreak in East Africa and the Middle East with the possibility of spillover of the huge locust swarm into West Africa including Nigeria, necessitated the proactive measures, including control of all trans boundary pest to ensure uninterrupted food supply in the country.
In a statement, the minister said the present administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to fight any menace that would truncate the tremendous success recorded so far especially in the agricultural sector He said:”’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’’
He commended the Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and the other governors of the Front line states for their collaboration and cooperation with the ministry towards reducing the effect of the migratory pests in the 12 states.
In his remarks however, 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.
The 12 frontline states are Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara ,Katsina,Kano,Jigawa,Bauchi,Gombe,Adamawa,Taraba,Yobe and Borno.