Food insecurity: Agric minister urges support for farmers from all levels of govt

By Samuel Luka, Bauchi

In order to overcome the current food insecurity in Nigeria, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Food security, Senator Abubakar Kyari has stressed that all efforts from federal, state and local government should be geared towards supporting farmers to produce enough food for the country.

Honourable Kyari who made this known during the flagging off ceremony of aerial spray against Quelea birds in Bauchi on Monday described the birds birds as dangerous pests causing serious damage to crops.

Represented by the State Director Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food security Bauchi, Mr. Daniel Abarshi, the minister further observed that the Quelea birds are problem to farmers.

According to him, the federal government has taken it upon itself as part of its constitutional role and mandate to protect farmers from crop loses.

“We want to protect our farmers from collosal loses of our farm produce, most especially now that they want to produce what we will eat and even eat what we produce”, he said.

The minister who pointed out that Quelea birds which are trans-boundary pests and are migratory, affecting Rice, Maize, millet and other cereal crops requires each country to take measures of controlling them.

“We normally do it twice in a year, that’s in the dry season and the rainy season and thank God this year we are doing it now and which is timely because our dry season farmers have their rice and maize farms on the field”, the Director said.

“So by the time we do the control now, we will achieve the aim and purpose of the prevention”, he added.

The representative of the minister advised farmers in flashy areas where the birds comes to roost in Toro, Jama’are, Shira, Warji, Bauchi, Kirfi, Misau and Alkaleri local government areas not panic when they see Aircraft hovering at lower altitude.

Mr. Abarshi who said that the chemicals to be sprayed acts by contact and ingestion, informed that dead birds could be seen on ground by the time the chemical had effect on them.

The Director who warned members of the public against eating the dead birds which are poisonous, further advised that utensils be covered to avoid being contaminated by the drifting chemicals.

He said that the Aircraft number has been made available to the security agencies for easy identification as it poses no security threat.

He appreciated the effort of Bauchi state government in complementing what the federal government is doing for the agricultural sector.

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