The Gombe State Government says aerial control of migratory pests in the state would resume on Wednesday.
Mr. Umar Malala, Director of Produce and Pest Control Services in the state’s Ministry of Agriculture disclosed this in Gombe on Tuesday.
Malala said the exercise was halted as a result of a technical problem adding that the ministry is expecting to resume operations on Wednesday after tackling the problem.
According to him, the exercise which is meant to control the menace of migratory birds and grasshoppers ravaging farms along the banks of River Gongola is nearly completed.
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“On Friday the exercise was flagged off and they commenced operations and were able to cover some areas, but unfortunately along the line, the aircraft developed a minor mechanical fault.
“They are working hard to put it back to use, but we are expecting that as from Tuesday another aircraft will be sent from Abuja to carry on with the operation on Wednesday.
“The places left to be covered are few and we are expecting that they would be covered as soon as the aircraft is replaced. There is no cause for worries.
“The exercise is an intervention programme of the Federal Government aimed at controlling pests with a view to protecting farmers and boosting productivity to ensure food security in the country.
“The interest of farmers in the state are well taken care of as the state government is also working in partnership with the federal government to protect them,’’ he said.
Speaking on why the exercise is restricted to only five out of the 11 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state, he said: “those are the most affected LGAs.
“The five LGAs have farmers cultivating crops along the bank of River Gongola where most of the birds have their nesting sites. That’s why we are targeting those areas to see that we control the menace,” he said.
He called on farmers cultivating along the banks of River Gongola to report immediately if they observe the outbreak of pest on their farms rather than wait for the birds to invade and destroy their farms before raising alarm.
According to NAN, the exercise which started on Sept. 13, targeted at five LGAs was put on hold after the operational aircraft developed some mechanical faults on Sept. 14.
The five LGAs are Nafada, Kwami, Shongom Yamaltu and Deba.