The Federal Government has approved the sum of N13 billion intervention fund for pest control across 12 front-line Northern states in Nigeria.
The states are Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe and Borno.
Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono made the disclosure on Friday during the flag-off ceremony for the 2020 dry season trans-boundary (migratory) pest control.
Speaking during the ceremony, which was held at the Birnin Kebbi International Airport in Kebbi State, Nanono noted that the intervention fund will help to control trans-boundary flow of pests such as quelea birds, locusts and grasshoppers.
It will also help Nigeria to ensure uninterrupted agricultural activities during the 2020 farming season, and to minimize the impact of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the minister said.
The Minister also pointed out that the proactive measure became important following reports of desert locust outbreak in East Africa and the Middle East with the possibility of spillover into West Africa including Nigeria.
He noted that with the fund the country can help to ensure uninterrupted food supply in the country.
Nanono emphasized that the President Muhammadu Buhari “is very determined to fight any menace that would truncate the tremendous success recorded so far especially in the Agricultural sector.”
“The choice of Kebbi State for the flag off is deliberate in view of the extensive agricultural activities in the state and the immense cooperation and collaboration of the state government in the implementation of agricultural interventions over the years,” he added.
The Agric minister lauded the Executive Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and the other governors of the front-line States for their collaboration and cooperation with the ministry towards reducing the effect of migratory pests across the states.
In his remarks, Bagudu commended Buhari for his vision and people-orientated policies in the agriculture sector.
The governor said that the president’s commitment towards the sector will help to ensure job creation, increase food security and boost the economy for the good of Nigerians.