Gov. Alhaji Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi has approved the release of N40 million for aerial spray of pesticides in farms across the state,to kill invading queleas from neighbouring Benin and Niger Republics.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Mineral Resources, Alhaji Maigari Abdullahi-Dakingari, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on Thursday in Birnin- Kebbi.
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 neighboring 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 pests 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.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 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.
Alhaji Maigari Abdullahi-Dakingari, the Kebbi State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, says that the state government has bought 128 trucks of fertiliser for the 2022 wet-farming season.
He said this while briefing journalists in his office at the State Secretariat in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital .
The commissioner said that the fertiliser would be distributed to all the 225 wards across the state, assuring them that each ward would be supplied with 250 bags of the commodity.
According to him, each bag of fertiliser costs government over N23,000 but it will be sold to farmers in Kebbi at a subsidised rate of N15,000 per bag.
Abdullahi-Dakingari added that the government had formed committees at both local government and ward levels who were saddled with the responsibility of distributing the commodity to farmers down the ladder across the state.
“Our intention is that smallholder farmers can get the commodity at subsidised rates without hitches, especially, those at the grassroots level.
This fertilisers will be distributed to all the 225 wards across the state with each ward getting 250 bags.
“Our primary concern is to prevent unpatriotic persons from diverting the commodity and in essence enable our peasant farmers get the commodity with less difficulty.
This fertiliser is not for sale outside Kebbi State but it is procured to be sold primarily to our smallholder farmers,” he said.
He identified members of the local government committees to include: Commissioner as Chairman and where there is no commissioner, the special adviser will serve as the Chairman”, members of the state assembly, council chairmen, APC party Chairmen, and permanent Secretaries in the the local government.
Others, he said, were; Director of Agric.
, Director of Social Welfare in the local government areas, representatives of AFAN, all security agencies in the local government, representatives of religious organisations and APC women leaders of the local government among others.
The Commissioner noted that the large and medium scale farmers and all other stakeholders would be taken care of at the state level.
“At the same time, at the state level, we will be servicing the large and medium scale farmers including stakeholders.
Every section in government will be taken care of by the state committee and FASCOM,” he said.
He recalled that the state government had been buying fertiliser annually for both wet and dry season farming for onward sale to farmers across the state since its inception in 2015 with a view to boosting agricultural activities thereby facilitating national food security.