The minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh was in Kebbi State on Friday to flag off the control of trans-boundary pest in 17 front line states.
The front line states are: Adamawa, Borno, Jigawa, Zamfara, Yobe, Kano, Kaduna, Kogi, Kebbi, Plateau, Bauchi, Sokoto, Enugu, Delta, Anambra, Rivers and Bayelsa States.
Ogbeh said that President Buhari ordered for the proactive measure against the attacks of locust and qualia birds that endanger crops on the farms lands by engaging in aerial spray of chemicals in the affected states.
“President Muhammadu Buhari had instructed me to take action immediately and arrest the menace of locusts, qualia birds, grasshoppers, and to liaise with the governors in view of the extent of operational and financial support required,” Ogbe said.
He warned that the migratory birds from Niger Republic cause havoc to crops both in the raining and dry season, making it pertinent for the federal government to partner with states in order to curtail the menace of the pest to save crops.
The minister who was full of praises for Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State’s agricultural policy, described Kebbi as taking the lead in the federal government’s diversification agenda through agriculture.
He urged other states to emulate Kebbi ‘s giant strides in agriculture and pledged to request from the president for the construction of a fertilizer blending plant in Kebbi.
Governor Bagudu in his speech, thanked the federal government for its quick response on the matter and for choosing the state for the flag off. He announced that the state was expecting a bumper harvest this year and that the state was able to deliver on its agricultural promises in less than one year of the take off of CBN “Anchor Borrowers Programme” to farmers in the state.
The governor disclosed that his administration has expended 100 million naira in the last six months for the control of qualia birds in the state.