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Quella birds: Gombe farmers laud FG over aerial control of pest

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Some farmers in Gombe State have lauded the Federal Government following the conclusion of the aerial control of migratory pest in five local government areas of the state.

The farmers gave this commendation in separate interviews with the Nigeria News Agency in Gombe on Wednesday.

Abdullahi Musa, grain farmer in Nafada said the effort of the government in spraying of control chemical to repel birds and grasshoppers would ensure that farmers got more from their harvests.

“We are often afraid when harvest is close because of the presence of these birds. As you know, they feed on grains while causing damage to our farms and income.

“This is the reason we make human-like image on our farms to scare them.

“The effort of the Federal Government in spraying our area to repel the birds is commendable.

“The population of the birds compared to the previous year has reduced, especially in our farms,’’ he said.

Adamu Musa, a sesame farmer from Deba said the efforts by the Federal Government showed how passionate the government felt about the development of the agricultural sector.

According to Musa, such efforts give hopes to farmers that the government sees them as major stakeholders in ensuring that Nigeria feeds herself as against the hitherto way of excessive importation.

He said that government should develop a mechanism where extension workers would be made to visit rural areas to gather information with regard to the challenges that farmers in rural communities face in getting across to government.

He appealed to the government to make the aerial control of migratory pest an annual exercise that would give no space for the pests to breed.

Malam Bappah Ibrahim, a farmer from Kwami said he felt a relief that no matter how long it took before harvesting, he knew there would be no devastation of his produce on the farm because of the control efforts.

Ibrahim called on farmers to always monitor their farms and report to the ministry of agriculture when they noticed any infestation on farms.

He also commended the state government for sending extension workers to sensitise farmers in rural areas on how best to cultivate crops to enhance productivity and boost farmers income.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Federal Government had on Sept. 13, carried out aerial migratory pest control in Gombe State covering five local governments of Balanga, Nafada, Kwami, Shongom and Yamaltu-Deba. (NAN)

UP/GY

Edited by Grace Yussuf

Agriculture

Katsina state govt. establishes 5 new irrigation schemes

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The Katsina State Government has established five new irrigation schemes in addition to rehabilitation of 10 existing ones as part of effort to boost food production in the state.

The state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mannir Yakubu made the disclosure at the opening ceremony of the Northern Nigeria Agricultural Summit in Katsina on Tuesday.

He said the five new irrigation schemes:are loca5ed at Gwaigwaye,Takatsaba, Tsanni, Masibil and Tsabu.

Mannir, who is also the commissioner of agriculture, said that the theme of the summit is: “Northern Nigeria Livestock Transformation Agenda”

Represented by the Special Adviser to the governor on agriculture, Dr Abba Yakubu Abdullahi said that there are not fewer than 21 million livestock in the state which include cattle, sheep, goats, camel, and poultry.

He said that would give the state opportunities of setting up of agro-allied industries such as sugar processing industry, rice milling, oil and flour milling, textiles, dairy products, confectioneries, meat processing and poultry production.

Katsina is an agrarian state where farming and rearing of animals occupy the lives of about 80 per cent of the population.

The state for decades, has been a major production center for cash crops such as cotton and groundnut, and food crops such as maize, sorghum, millet, among others,” he said.

He said that from inception of the administration, the state government procured and distributed 153,360 metric tones of assorted fertilizers to farmers at a subsidized rate of N5,000 per bag.

According to him, the government also sold 10 metric tones of improved seeds as well as agrochemicals which were distributed to farmers at subsidized rate during the period.

He added that the government had established 29 weather stations in the state, and supported Jibia Irrigation Project with N150 million.

He said that the government conducts animal vaccination and deworming of livestock annually across the state to enhance livestock production.

In his remarks, the state governor, Alhaji Aminu Masari said that the state was blessed with different agricultural potentials ranging from vegetation and arable land mass of 2.4 million hectares.

Represented by his deputy, Alhaji Mannir Yakubu, said that the state has over 1.1 million cubic meters of water for irrigation, pointing out that the major irrigation centers in the state were Jibia, Sabke, Zobe, Gwaigwaye with a total capacity of only 558,000 cubic meters.

He revealed that the state government intervention in the sector during the last four years had yielded fruitful results.

Our agricultural productivity has risen by 40 per cent, and we intend to achieve 100 per cent in 2020,” he said.

He said that the government had procured and distributed 150 tractors to enhance mechanized agriculture in the state.

He commended the Federal Government for annual aerial spray against quella birds, training and empowerment of women and youths on ruminants production, diary processing and modern farming technology.

Edited by: Tukur Muntari.
(NAN)
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