Nigeria’s Federal Government has issued an approval for the disbursement of a ₦13 billion intervention fund targeted at improving pest control in the country.
The said fund earmarked for the control of pests such as grasshoppers, locust, birds was approved for twelve northern states in Nigeria.
The move was announced through a statement by the Director, Information, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Theodore Ogaziechi.
While giving insights over the necessity of the intervention fund, Ogaziechi revealed that it is a move to ensure agricultural activities remain uninterrupted throughout the 2020 farming season.
He further stated that the control of transboundary pests, minimizing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the guarantee of both nutritional and national food security are well considered and prioritized in the moved.
The twelve states to benefit from the intervention fund include Taraba, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Gombe, Bauchi, Jigawa, Adamawa, Kebbi, Borno and Yobe.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development, Muhammad Nanono, who flagged off the 2020 Dry Season Control of Transboundary (MIGRATORY) pest at Birnin Kebbi International Airport, Kebbi State, explained that the government swiftly decided to release the funds due to the outbreak of desert locusts in East Africa and the Middle East, and West Africa, where Nigeria is geographically situated could possibly be affected by the locust swarm.
Nanono stated that the development necessitated proactive measures by the federal government to be alert to tackle any influx of the dreaded desert locusts as well as controlling all transboundary pests with the protection of the nation’s food security and production in mind.