By Lawrence Audu
The Federal Government of Nigeria has inaugurated the National Task Force on Fall Army worm as a way to achieve the fight against the menace in a sustainable way.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh who inaugurated the Task Force on behalf of the Federal Government in Abuja today said the setting up of the Task Force became necessary in order to bring about the involvement of all stakeholders in Agriculture sector in the fight against Fall Army worm in the country.
The Minister noted that the Fall Army worm (FAW) Emergency Project that was set up at the emergence of the pest to curtail its spread would wind up soon without further intervention from the government and partners and might result in escalation of the destruction if a sustainable approach is not put in place.
Ogbeh explained that the newly inaugurated National Task Force on FAW which comprises of members from both the public and private sectors would among other things advise government on FAW infestation; engage partners, communicate with relevant stakeholders on the menace of FAW and promote cooperation, coordination, consistency and synergies across the country on FAW.
The Minister commended the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, Synergos and other stakeholders for their technical assistance in controlling and managing the Fall Army worm infestation in the country and sought for more support in area of research.
On the side-line of the inauguration of the Task Force on FAW was the launch of Goldmax Total Crop Solution Insecticide developed by a Scientist, Professor Aaron Baba, by the Minister Of Agriculture and Rural Development who announced that the agro product which is organic and proudly ‘Made in Nigeria’ has been approved by the National Agency For Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) .
He further explained that a lot of tests and trials have been conducted on the product by research institutes and many farmers including him have good stories to tell about its efficacy.
Ogbeh stated that the Ministry would procure some of the products for supply to Nigerian Farmers at subsidized rate as well as facilitate its sales to other African countries while government would continue to give necessary support in the fight against Fall Army Worm in the country.
The Country Representative, Food and Agriculture Organization, Nigeria (FAO), Mr Suffyan Koroma in his remarks commended government’s efforts in setting up the National Taskforce and noted that it would serve as a strategic national approach to the control and management of FAW infestation; he implored members to immediately go into action in order to give the required supports to farmers in the next cropping season.
In his contribution, The Country Director, Synergos, Mr. Adewale Ajadi said that his organization was happy to support an organic solution against the FAW as this initiative has already “set a standard on how to solve our problems in Nigeria”.
In his technical presentation, the inventor of Gold Max Total Crop Solution Insectide, Professor Aaron Baba said the product which is effective against over one hundred insects including Tuta absoluta, grasshopper, beans pest among others is also environmental and users friendly and promised that latest available technology would be used to protect and maintain the integrity of the product.
Testimonies of farmers from Ondo, Kano, Kaduna and the Federal Capital Territory at the event revealed the high potency of the product while they called on governments to make it more available to the Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs) so as to avoid possible adulteration of the solution.
Members of the National Task Force on FAW include, Dr. Mufutau Adeleke, Ajayi Olutobaba, Mr Mike Kanu, Aliyu Danlami Chafe, Dr Ishiakbio Khalid, Dr Vincent Isegbe, Prof J.A Adediran, Prof Rabiu Adamu, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, Prof Chris Dauda, Mr. Sabiu S. Ismaila, Mr. Adeniyan O.B, Dr Nkem, Dr. Oluwakemi Odeyemi, Mrs Adeola Akinrinlola, Ben Odoemena, Dr Charles Iyangbe, Dr AlphaKamara, Sarrazin Felix. Others are Hauwa Funmilayo, Prof Ibrahim Haruna , Prof Aaron Baba and Mallam Isah Adamu.