The federal government has approved N13 billion as intervention fund for pest control in 12 northern states.
The federal ministry of agriculture and rural development said in a statement on Saturday the fund is to reduce the effects of COVID-19 on the nation’s food sector.
The 12 states listed as beneficiaries of the fund are Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe and Borno.
Muhammad Nanono, the minister, said the intervention fund was to ensure uninterrupted agricultural activities during the 2020 farming season in the states.
Nanono said the fund is part of efforts to guarantee nutritional and national food security.
He also said the government was mindful of reports of desert locust outbreaks in East Africa and the Middle East with the possibility of a spillover of locust swarms into West Africa and Nigeria.
Nanono said the current administration “is determined to fight any menace that will truncate the successes recorded so far in the agricultural sector”.
The statement said the minister also performed the flag-off of the 2020 dry season control of trans-boundary migratory birds for the 12 northern states at the Birnin Kebbi International Airport in Kebbi.
“The choice of Kebbi State for the flag-off is deliberate, in view of the extensive agricultural activities in the state and the immense cooperation and collaboration of the state government in the implementation of agricultural interventions over the years,” Nanono was quoted as saying.