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Bauchi fights quelea birds, allots N45m for pest control

Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has flagged off quelea birds spray at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa international airport Bauchi as part of efforts…

Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has flagged off quelea birds spray at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa international airport Bauchi as part of efforts to boost food production in the state.

The exercise is to be conducted in local government areas of Alkaleri, Kirfi, Warji, Jama’are, Misau, Giade, Toro and Shira.

The governor was represented by the state’s commissioner for Agriculture, Prof. Simon Madugu Yalams, who explained that the sum of N45m has been approved for the procurement of agrochemical and other equipment in response to a recent outbreak of insects and pests in farmlands across some local government areas of the state.

He said the move was to ensure timely and effective control of the outbreak due to its emergency need.

The governor described agriculture as the backbone of Bauchi economy, saying that the sector employs over 75 percent of the state’s population.

He noted that scientists have estimated the number of quelea birds to be around a hundred million, thus a flock of two million quelea birds can destroy 20 tonnes of grains (rice, millet or wheat) in just one day.

“These birds are migratory in nature, therefore, the only method of controlling them is by aerial spray of chemicals as well as ground control by the state Ministry of Agriculture fumigation team,” the governor emphasised.

The Minister of Agriculture, Senator Abubakar Kyari, who was represented by the Zonal Director Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Bauchi, Daniel Abarshi, assured farmers in the North-East subregion of adequate supply of pesticide in order to protect their produce from crops pests, especially quelea birds.

The minister described quelea birds as the most destructive of the pests which if left unattended to can cause severe loss of farm produce to the farmers.

He said that the ministry will always embark on preventive measures to ensure that farmers get the best of harvests of their crops at all times of the year.

Abubakar Kyari stressed that the focus of the administration was to ensure availability of food and promote food security in the country.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Ibrahim Yushau Isah appreciated the governor for his continued support and prompt response to the agricultural sector, pledging the ministry’s total commitments to the governor to enable him achieve his developmental objectives in the agricultural sector.

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