Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving a N13 billion pests control intervention fund.
Bagudu made the commendation on Friday in Birnin Kebbi, at the flag-off of the 2020 Dry Season Control of Trans-boundary migratory pests for 12 frontline northern states.
Bagudu said: “Pests control is a very important element in agriculture because migratory birds wreak havoc in the country every year.
“The federal government has made agriculture a 24-hour business and always thinks farmers, thinks livestock, thinks fishing communities, small scale processors and investments in agriculture.
“We are also further convinced that President Buhari will continue to carry all along in his agricultural agenda,” he said.
He also lauded the president for appointing governors into various committees to promote agriculture.
Bagudu also acknowledged the spectacular responses of the president to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that it had greatly limited its impact.
“The president is vigorously committed to the agricultural sector and to ensuring a Nigeria that works for all. This is commendable,” the governor said.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Alhaji Muhammadu Nanono, lamented that migratory birds such as quelea birds, locusts and grasshoppers constituted serious threats to cereal crops like wheat, maize, millet, sorghum, among others.
The minister also extolled the continuous support, collaborations and cooperation from the frontline states in the control of the migratory birds.
“It is a great pleasure to mark the commencement of the 2020 dry season control of migratory pests in the 12 frontline states – Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara and Borno.
“This mitigates the destructive effects of these birds, with the attendant food security implications,” he added.
Nanono also commended Gov. Bagudu and other governors of the frontline states for their invaluable support in the control of the birds, and reaffirmed the federal government’s readiness to spearhead the exercise.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Alhaji Attahiru Maccido, had said that the 2020 national flag-off of Quelea birds control in frontline states was a wonderful gesture from the federal government.
According to him, for three years running, the state had enjoyed the privilege of hosting the Flag-off ceremony for the control of the migratory birds.
“This is because of our strategic location that makes it a significant flash point for entry of migratory pests into the country,” he said.
He also commended the federal government for the gesture on behalf of people and the government of Kebbi state.
“The government and people of Kebbi state are appreciative of this consideration and for a lot of support we receive from the federal ministry of agriculture,” the commissioner said.