Bauchi Earmarks N45 Million for Fight Quelea Birds, Others

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By Isah Aliyu Chiroma

Bauchi State Government has approved the sum of N45 million for the procurement of agrochemical and other equipments to fight the recent outbreak of pests such as the Quela birds, locusts and grasshoppers in farmlands across the local government areas of the state.

Governor Bala Mohammed disclosed this on Monday at the flagging-off aerial spray against Quelea birds at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International airport Bauchi.

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 Simon Madugu Yalams, Governor Bala described agriculture as the backbone of Bauchi economy, adding that the sector employs over 75% population of the State.

He stated that the agricultural transformation policies of the Federal Government has made positive impact in the sector, trading to increased yield and production, especially grains.

He, however, explained that the yield increase has attracted Quelea birds and other pests in the 12 frontline States of Northern Nigeria including Bauchi State.

According to him, 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) in 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 reassured the communities about the upcoming aerial spray, adding that the low-flying plane shouldn’t cause alarm.

However, he also cautioned them against consuming any of the dead birds resulting from the spray, as they pose a significant poisoning risk.

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