By Ismaila Chafe
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N13.9 billion for the purchase of insecticides for pest control in states affected by quelea birds.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono disclosed this when he addressed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting of the Council, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari
According to him, the approval also covers purchase of drugs for the treatment of animal diseases like rabies.
“We had one memorandum from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and that was on pest control, animal diseases like rabies, lungs and liver diseases as well as Quelea birds, especially in the Northeastern part of the country.
“There are 12 frontline states that are being affected by Quelea birds, grasshoppers and those that have been pestering us.
“The prevalence of rabies in the country has risen quite substantially, in fact in some cases we have recorded some deaths.
“The Federal Government has taken serious look at it and has approved intervention fund of about N13.9 billion for this,’’ he said.
The Minister, who also gave his ministry’s scorecard to the Council, revealed that the federal government would recruit 75,000 extension workers in the next two years to boost agricultural activities across the country.