Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Jigawa , Alhaji Yakubu Dole-Zugo has sent an outcry over the recent invasion of over 1,000 hectares of irrigation fields in Guri Local Government Area of the state.
Guri expressed his dissatisfaction about the fact that stubborn weed had created a blockade in the irrigation channels and harboured quelea birds and dangerous reptiles which could be harmful to the crops and the farmers.
“Since its emergence 35 years ago, typha grass had invaded over 1,000 hectares of land that stretches from Guri to Nguru in the neighbouring Yobe.
“It has blocked a large part of Hadejia River in this area, thereby cutting down the amount of irrigation water needed for cultivation of sorghum, millet and rice.
“Quelea birds that destroy our crops are now taking shelter in it; we are forced to remain in the farm day and night to guard against these birds,” the chairman said.
A reliable source at the state Agricultural Development Authority revealed that tackling typha was not an easy task, due the fact that the machine brought to cut the grass by the previous government broke down and yet nothing had been done to address the issue.
“Typha grass is stubborn and it grows as high as 30 meters on the waterways, which our people use for fishing and farming.
“The expensive machine provided by the government to clear the weed broke down after working for some periods.
“But six months after, the grass grew up; this is why I called for urgent government intervention.
“Some expatriates suggested the use of chemicals to kill the weed, but the idea was rejected because the chemical could poison the water, which is used for fishing and irrigation,” said the source.
The source also pleaded to the association to help in drawing attention of the Federal Government and international community to proffer a solution to the this disturbing problem.