The federal government has commenced aerial spray of pesticides to control the invasion of Quelea birds in North-east Nigeria, an official of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has confirmed.
Adamu Kazaure, the Coordinating Officer, Federal Pest Control Services Division, Department of Veterinary and Pest Control, in charge of Adamawa and Taraba States, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Yola.
Mr Kazaure said the development was to prevent imminent loss of crops in the region.
He said the federal government had received several reports of the birds devastating sorghum and rice crops in some states in the North-east.
According to him, the affected state governments drew the attention of federal government and called for urgent response to control the menace.
“Following the report of Quelea birds devastating farmlands in some states in North-east region,
“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture through its Pest Control Services Division swung into action for aerial pesticides spray in Adamawa and Taraba states.
“So far, we had covered almost 12 local government areas in the two states,” Mr Kazaure said.
He explained that eight local government areas including Lau, Karim Lamido, Gassol, Ibi, Wukari, Ardo-Kola, Donga and Bali, had been covered in Taraba.
In Adamawa, he said, about four local government areas, comprising Yola North, Yola South, Girei and Guyuk, were covered.
The official however assured that the remaining, Lamurde, Numan, Demsa and Shelleng Local Government Areas of Adamawa would soon be covered in the next few days.
Mr Kazaure noted that after the completion of aerial spray in Adamawa, the federal government aerial pest control crew and other officers would move to Gombe, then Bauchi and Yobe states.
“We implore affected states to supplement federal government efforts through the provision of additional flight hours, pesticides and logistics.
“The complementary would drastically reduce the population of the menace to a level that will not cause economic injury to our farmers,” Mr Kazaure said.