By Najib Sani, Bauchi.
As part of efforts to tackle the menace of quelea birds in farmlands in Bauchi state, the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development Tuesday flagged off the aerial spray of pesticides in parts of the state.
Speaking during the flag off of the exercise at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa international airport Bauchi, the state coordinator of the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development in Bauchi state Alhaji Muhammad Yusuf represented by pest control officer Dr Tagwi Ezra James explained that quelea birds cause much havoc to farm produce hence the decision by the federal government to rid the state of the precarious pests.
According to him, the exercise would be conducted in 12 states of the federation adding that in Bauchi state, the spray would be carried out in the worst affected local government areas including; Alkaleri, Toro, Shira, Itas Gadau and Jama’are via a plane.
Dr Tagwi who noted that quelea birds can travel long from one state to another or to countries asserted that the birds pose threat to food security.
He said the pesticides provided by the federal government was powerful and capable of killing them and other insects such as mosquitoes.
“So, the federal government in its quest to make food available for the population and ensure food security is doing everything possible to reduce the menace of pests in the country”. He said.
While asking the people of the state to inform the ministry of any place the pests infiltrate, Tagwi however cautioned that the killed birds should not be consumed by the people as the chemicals are harmful.
Also speaking, the consultant that would conduct the exercise Engineer Pam Rwang said their mini plane to be used for the spray takes as much as one and half drum of pesticides.
He advised people to stay away from the areas where the spray would be conducted to avoid sniffing the chemicals.
In his remarks, the permanent secretary Bauchi state ministry of agriculture Haruna Girma Dass who represented the state government at the occasion lauded the federal government for the gesture and promised to support it so that the exercise would be successful.