Birnin Kebbi — Farmers in Kebbi State have raised alarm over a fresh invasion of their farms by maggots that are causing their crops to wither.
Daily Trust reports that many farmers have, in the past few weeks, had to contend with pests that were ravaging crops in the state.
Farmers and experts in the state Ministry of Agriculture and other agric support agencies are still assessing the situation with a view to finding remedy to the destruction of the crops by the pests.
Our reporter, who visited some of the affected farms, observed that the pests wreaked havoc mostly in farms around Zuru, Argungu, Bunza, Bagudo, Kamba, Birnin Kebbi and other areas of the state.
The situation has become a major cause of worry to farmers in worst hit farm locations, which also include Matankari, Suru, Dakingari, Barbarejo and Bakuwai in Suru Local Government Area of the state.
Farmers in the areas complained that despite the high volume of water being pumped into the farms on daily basis, their crops dry up and wither once attacked by the maggots.
As a result of the development, the state Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, recently visited some of the worst hit farm areas in the state.
During his visit to Matankari area of Suru LGA, he was conducted round some of the farms that were destroyed by maggots by the chairman of the LGA, Alhaji Umaru Maigandi Dakingari and the district heads of Suru, Dakingari, Barbarejo and Bakuwai.
Though Governor Bagudu tried to allay the fears of the farmers by assuring them that the state government would collaborate with the Federal Government to forestall further destruction of their crops, the farmers still appear worried.
One of the affected farmers in Suru LGA, Alhaji Abdulwasi'u Andarai, expressed worry that despite the availability of water at the farms, crops still dried up and withered away.
He said: "I have never seen a thing like this in the 20 years of my farming experience. It will be difficult for anyone to believe the extent of destruction the maggots and pests have done to my farms within few days."
The farmer called on the state government to quickly intervene to avert shortage of food in the state.
While explaining their predicament to the governor, another affected farmer, Alhaji Ja'afaru Haliru, said crops on many farms and nearing harvest had been completely destroyed by pests and maggots.
"The governor has come to see the level of damage the pests and maggots have done to our crops. We need immediate solution to this problem before it gets out of control," he pleaded.
During the farmers/stakeholders interactive programme initiated by the state government in Birnin Kebbi, farmers from various parts of the state expressed concern over the new maggots' phenomena in their farms.
They appealed to government and relevant agric intervention agencies to hasten in stopping the attack spreading to other farms.