The Federal Government of Nigeria has approved N13b Intervention Fund to boost agricultural activities during this year’s farming season in12 frontline states.
The fund would be used to control trans-boundary pests and minimise impacts of COVID-19 on the sector and guarantee national food security.
The Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, disclosed this during the flag-off of the 2020 dry season control of trans-boundary pests, such as quelea birds, locusts and grasshoppers for 12 frontline northern states, held at Birnin Kebbi International Airport, Kebbi State, at the weekend.
The 12 states include Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe and Borno.
The minister said the pandemic and reports of desert locust outbreak in East Africa and the Middle East, with the possibility of a spillover of the huge locust swarm into West Africa, including Nigeria, necessitated the proactive measures.
Nanono said: “The choice of Kebbi State is deliberate, in view of the extensive agricultural activities in the state and the immense cooperation and collaboration in the implementation of agricultural interventions over the years.’’
He lauded the state Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and other governors of the frontline states for their collaboration and cooperation with the ministry towards reducing the effect of the migratory pests in the 12 states.