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Gov Bala flags-off aerial spray against Quelea birds

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Gov Bala flags-off aerial spray against Quelea birds

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By Samuel Luka, Bauchi

Bauchi state Governor, Bala Mohammed has on Monday, flagged-off aerial spray to control the devastating effect of Quelea birds on farmlands in Toro, Bauchi, Jama’are, Misau, Kirfi and Alkaleri local government areas of the state.

Bala while performing the flag-off ceremony at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International airport Bauchi, stated that the sum of forty five million Naira (N45,000,000.00k) has been released for the procurement of Agrochemical and other equipments in response to a recent outbreak of insects and pests in farmlands in Kirfi, Alkaleri and some local government areas of the state.

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

Represented by the state Commissioner of Agriculture, Professor Madugu Yalams, the Governor described agriculture as the backbone of Bauchi economy, saying that the sector employs over 75% population of the State.

According to him, to that regard, his government has since inception, made a lot of efforts towards transforming the agricultural sector from being a way of life of the people to a business that will enhance the earning power of the teaming farming families.

The Governor added that the transformation has been carried out in order to attract investors, donor agencies and development partners both within and outside the country.

He said that the various agricultural intervention programmes in the State is meant to restructure the sector for the betterment of farmers and the entire citizens as well as create an enabling environment for investors.

The Governor added that the Agricultural transformation policies of the Federal Government has made positive impact in the sector, trading to increased yield and production, especially grains.

Mohammed further explained that the yield increase has attracted Quelea birds and other pests in the 12 frontline States of Northern Nigeria including Bauchi State, saying the bird is one of the most dangerous agricultural pests devastating crop production, threatening food security not only in Nigeria but Africa in General.

He noted that Scientists have estimated the number of Quelea birds at around 100 million, thus, a flock of 2 million Quelea birds can destroy 20 tonnes of grains (Rice, Millet or Wheat) on just one day.

The Governor revealed that the flocks of Quelea birds attack and destroy millions of hectares of agricultural farms and fields annually, leading to substantial grain deficiency in the country.

“These birds are migratory in nature, therefore, the only method of controlling these destructive pests is by aerial spray of chemicals as well as ground control by the State Ministry of Agriculture fumigation team”, the Governor emphasized.

The Commissioner while informing the affected communities where the aerial spray will take place, with the plane flying at a lower altitude not to panic, also warned them against eating any of the dead birds because they are highly poisonous.

Professor Yalams who appreciated the Governor for his continued support and prompt response to the agricultural sector, pledged the ministry’s total commitments to the Governor to enable him achieve his developmental objectives in the agricultural sector. State.

The communities where the aerial spray will take place are Gobirawa, Mai-Ari, Garin Na Allah, Kotarko in Alkaleri local government area area as well as Kogin Sallah A, Toro 1 and Kogin Sallah B and others Within Toro Local Government.

He said Communities in Kirfi which include Kworin Lariski, Bala Lakawa as well as Gadau and Banja in Itas-Gadau LG are part of the aerial spray.

The commissioner further informed that communities in Jama’are LG as well as Maladumba Dam, Kari bridge among others in Misau local government area including wire Dam in Bauchi LG,
Galala Dam and Dugurna communities have been affected by the Quelea birds.