Food shortage looms as Kano farmers lament losses after invasion by strange insects
We need govt’s urgent intervention to arrest situation —lawmaker cries out
We’ve swung into action —Kano Govt
THE fortunes of farmers in two Kano local government areas of Doguwa and Tudun Wada have been reversed by an invading army of locusts simply identified as ‘’Lopidster pest”.
The tiny enemies do not only stifle crops planted by the farmers but they also wreak havoc on farm produce, causing more losses to farmers and the communities.
Arewa Voice gathered that farm produce worth hundreds of millions of Naira have already been devoured by the malignant insects since they invaded the two LGAs about three weeks ago.
As a result of the invasion, AV learnt that major stables such as maize, sorghum and rice largely consumed in the state and most parts of the Northern region of Nigeria, have been significantly destroyed, thereby putting the state on the verge of famine.
A farmer, Abdu Umar, who runs a large farm in Doguwa, has expressed worry over the ugly development, likening the pattern of attack by the resurgent insects as a ‘wildfire’.
“The crop-eating pest attacks crops like wildfire. It destroys farms rapidly and can render a whole farm bare within minutes leaving the farmer with little or nothing,”
Umar lamented. “Last year, I harvested 200 bags of maize from my farmland but with this development, it has shattered my farmland and I can’t boast of a reasonable number of bags this year,” Umar said.
Umar’s story is not different from that of Abdulkadir Ismail, who said he lost all his farm produce cultivated on two of his farmlands to the invading insects.
Apparently worried by the development, the lawmaker representing Doguwa Constituency in the state house of Assembly, Salisu Muhd Ibrahim, has presented an urgent motion before the assembly calling on the state government to as a matter of urgency intervene and arrest the situation.
Ibrahim noted that if something urgent was not done, the state and its people were likely to face acute food shortages next year. “The appalling thing is the insect attack major stables such as rice, sorghum, and maize which are most popular food consumed here. Once there is shortage of such crops which are stable, there is going to be food crisis”. Ibrahim said in his motion: “That is why we are appealing to the state government to as a matter of urgency send a team of experts to investigate and also come to our aid with insecticides to arrest the situation. It has devastated farmlands of so many farmers.
“You are aware that my constituency is one of the food baskets of the state and when you talk of the North and the country, Doguwa Local Government Area has a place in the map of food production,” Ibrahim said.
When Arewa Voice contacted the state Ministry of Agriculture on measures put in place to arrest the situation, the Director Agriculture Services, Abdulkadir Sunusi, said they had already swung into action. to address the situation.
Sunusi said already the ministry had deployed team of experts to the area to assess, identify the type of insect, the varieties of crops affected and the extent of damage done to the farms and the implications for the farming community in the state.
“We have sent our team to carry out an assessment of damage, variety, mode of infection and types of birds after which they are expected to submit a report and we would now carry out intervention.
“Already, we have secured insecticides to be sprayed on the farmlands,” the Director said.
September 26, 2021
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