Federal Government has approved N13 billion as intervention fund for pest control in 12 northern states, to reduce the effects of COVID-19 on the nation’s food sector. The 12 `frontline’ states, to benefit from the fund are Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe and Borno States. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development made the disclosure in a statement issued on Saturday. The Minister, Alhaji Muhammad Nanono, said that the intervention fund was to ensure uninterrupted agricultural activities during the 2020 farming season in the states. He explained that the fund would also be used to control trans-boundary pests and minimise the impact of COVID – 19 as well as guarantee nutritional and national food security.
Nanono emphasised that the present administration “is determined to fight any menace that will truncate the successes recorded so far in the agricultural sector”. He said that 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.