Hordes of Quela birds coming from Baturiya wet land in Guri have destroyed a number of rice farms in Auyo Local Government Area of Jigawa State.
This is in addition to the menace of a rice pest popularly known as ‘blight,’ that was already destroying rice farms in the area.
Many rice farms in the state were also submerged by recent floods that ravaged some local governments in the state.
Chairman of the Rice Farmers Association, Malam Mohammed Garba, told the visiting Country Director, Sasakawa Global 2000 (SG 2000), Prof. Sani Ahmed-Miko, that the blight and Quela birds had destroyed a number of rice farms in the area.
He stressed the need for both the state and federal governments to address the problems in view of their devastating effects on rice production.
“We are calling on the government to do something urgently in addressing the problem before the commencement of the dry season farming activities.
“This year has been a challenging one to farmers especially rice growers in the area due to the devastation caused by flood, blight and the birds.
“The pest destroys rice seed by making the pod to shrink thereby preventing it from growing fully,” he said.
In his remarks, an official of SG 2000, Malam Idris Garko, advised the farmers to stop buying seeds from unregistered seed dealers and companies, and to use different variety of seeds every year to avoid possible infection by the pest.
“If you find out that the seed is infected with the disease, change seed next year and destroy the stock to prevent the spread of the pest,’’ he advised.
Also speaking, Ahmed-Miko, Country Director, Sasakawa Global 2000, advised the farmers to embrace new farming technologies to boost their agricultural production. (NAN)