A quelea bird swarm in Kebbi, Nigeria, has destroyed the crops on at least 75,000 hectares of farmland.
A large quelea bird swarm allegedly ravaged fields over the weekend in Argungu Local Government Area in Kebbi State, Nigeria, causing losses to at least 100 farmers.
A farm might be entirely destroyed by a harmful swarm of quelea birds in a day or even a matter of hours.
Locals claim that during the weekend, the hazardous birds devastated more than 75,000 hectares of rice crops.
The threat posed by quelea birds, red-billed birds that moved from the nearby Niger Republic, has only so far afflicted Kebbi.
However, they argued that developing insect repellant that works without harming crops is the best approach to address the threat posed by quelea birds, Daily Post Nigeria reports.
Pesticide for 75,000 to 95,000 Ha of Farms in Nigeria
Alhaji Umar Na’amore, a PDP assemblyman from Argungu Constituency, has urged the federal government to spray pesticides on trespassing quelea birds on farmers’ fields.
In a press release he sent to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi on Sunday, Na’amore made the call.
According to Na’amore, the residents of Kebbi State’s Argungu Local Government Area are pleading with the federal and state governments to spray pesticides on fields to kill invasive quelea birds to prevent more agricultural losses in the region.
According to later accounts, the quelea birds have decimated about 95,000 hectares of dry-season rice farms in the state. The region has been severely damaged, which might have repercussions for food security, according to Na’amore via Vanguard Nigeria.
According to records, the majority of the farmers in the region have received loans from Labana as well as WACOT rice mills, among others, to start up large-scale agricultural operations and contribute to the nation’s efforts to achieve food security and provide for the needs of the local population.
According to Na’amore, once the rainy season began, people were shocked by the bombardment and swarm of quelea birds that were migrating from the neighboring republics of Benin and Niger.
He went on to warn that the area’s cereal crops, including rice, wheat, maize, millet, and sorghum, are seriously threatened by migrating birds including quelea birds, locusts, and grasshoppers.
According to Na’amore, this is due to the region’s favorable position, which makes it a crucial flash point for the admission of migratory pests into the nation.
The legislator encouraged the governments to help the afflicted farmers recover from the farmers’ losses by offering them humanitarian aid.
The organization led by Na’amore is also pleading with the rice milling corporations that provided loans to the affected farmers to postpone repayment until 2024.
He said that a farmer whose field has been overrun by harmful quelea birds has no money to start new farming. And the loan money would have been invested first in farming after suffering crop losses. He meant that demanding pay immediately would not be doable for the farmers, Vanguard Nigeria reports.
According to N Opera News, the only area currently impacted by the quelea bird swarm is Kebbi State. Farmers in the northwest and northeast are being cautioned by agricultural specialists to keep an eye out for potential bird incursions.