Desertification: Sokoto provides date palm seedlings to farmers, cooking stoves to rural dwellers

Posted by News Express | 8 September 2015 | 3,985 times

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Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Monday said the state government had provided date palm seedlings for distribution to farmers in the state and would also provide free cooking stoves to rural dwellers in the state to discourage use of firewood.

Tambuwal disclosed this at Kadawata in Goronyo Local Government Area at the commencement of the 2015 Tree Planting Campaign in the state tagged: ‘Sustainable Ecosystem Restoration.’

Although he did not disclose the quantity, he said that the seedlings would be planted in the 23 local government areas in the state under the Great Green Wall Project.

He said that the measure was part of the state government’s efforts to curb the menace of desertification.

The governor urged organizations and individuals in the state to take interest in the cultivation of tree crops such as date palm and gum arabic.

“This should be done as a measure to alleviate poverty and unemployment, and to reap from the abundant benefits of planting trees.”

He called on local government councils to ‘seriously’ embrace tree planting and urgently launch it in their domains.

According to him, this is necessary if not to roll back the process of desertification, at least to cancel some of its gains through a sustained effort at planting trees.

“All stakeholders should have a change of attitude by ensuring that the exercise is given all the seriousness it deserves.”

The governor urged farmers to adopt more modern and sustainable methods of farming, “having economic trees on your farms actually improves the yield of your harvests.

“Agro-forestry is now the more acceptable form of modern and sustainable farming; I will like to appeal to our royal and religious leaders to continue to give maximum support in order to ensure the success of this exercise.”

On the cooking stoves, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes Tambuwal as saying that the gesture is part of measures to curb desert encroachment and land degradation in the state.

He also announced immediate ban of trees cutting for firewood and domestic purposes.

The governor was speaking at the flag-off of the 2015 Tree Planting Campaign at Kawadata Village in the Goronyo Local Government Area of the state.

According to him, to mitigate the effect of the new policy on rural dwellers, government will provide modern stoves, while encouraging residents to explore other sources of energy like coal.

Governor Tambuwal also urged residents to cultivate the habit of planting economic trees like gum Arabic and date palm, which he said, would not only help in preserving the environment but would alleviate poverty and tackle unemployment.

The governor said that growing trees was both an environmental and spiritual obligation, adding: “Islam encourages planting of trees for the benefit of communities.”

The Permanent Secretary in the state’s Ministry of Environment, Alhaji Garba Sarkin-Kudu, said that a two- kilometre shelter-belt would be established in each of the three senatorial zones in the state.

He said that the government's house-to-house tree planting campaign had been carried in the 400 housing estates in the city to provide shelter.

The theme for this year's campaign is: ‘Sustainable Ecosystem Restoration.’ (NAN)

•Photo shows Gov. Tambuwal


Source: News Express

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