Okwe Obi (Abuja) and Olanrewaju Lawal (Birnin Kebbi)
The Federal Government has approved a N13 billion intervention fund for pest control to ensure uninterrupted agricultural activities as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the country, even as it explained that the intervention would guarantee nutritional and national food security as trans-boundary pests would be tackled.
Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, stated this yesterday during the flag-off of the 2020 dry season control of trans-boundary migratory pests (quelea birds, locusts and grasshoppers) for the 12 frontline northern states, held in Kebbi State.
In a statement signed by the Information Officer in the ministry, Ezeaja Ikemefuna, Nanono noted that the present 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.
He emphasized that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is very determined to fight any menace that could 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 lauded Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu and the other governors of the frontline states for their collaboration and cooperation with the ministry towards reducing the effect of the migratory pests in the 12 states.
Meanwhile, Governor Bagudu has commended President 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.