Malam Ibrahim Jegudu, Director, Forestry, Kebbi State Ministry of Environment, on Monday said the State Government has planted one million tree seedlings to combat desertification across the state.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birnin Kebbi, Jegudu said: “The programme was successful, I can remember, we produced about one million tree seedlings in the last two years.
”We distributed same to people and on yearly basis we usually seek the attention of government to produce assorted tree seedlings.
“Not only tree seedlings that are wind breakers, we also raise some food trees that can increase food bearing trees across the state such as mango, guava, pawpaw which we also give to local farmers.”
The Director recalled that some few years ago, Gov. Atiku Bagudu of the Kebbi bought some date and oil palm and donated it free to farmers to encourage plantation of trees especially economic trees.
“What we did then was to identify farmers that have clear agricultural development and distributed such trees to them, after assessment, we were able to pick up some farms that actually recorded enormous success.
“Even this year, we are making move by the approval of the governor to purchase various assorted plants that will also be distributed to local farmers all in an attempt to minimise desertification in the state,” he noted.
On indiscriminate felling of trees, the director stressed the importance of trees to human existence, adding that all religions preach and encourage tree planting.
“It is an obvious fact that trees are very essential to human existence as they take in the carbon dioxide we release while we breeth in the oxygen they release.
“Some people believed that even food cooked from firewood test better than the one cooked from other energy sources. If not for anything, for the sake of tasty food we should continue planting trees.
“You can plant trees in your house, you are not going to cause any effect, you can plant trees in your compound, in Mosques, in Churches and everywhere.
“Wherever you plant trees, you tend to have its benefits either by getting shade or cutting branches for firewood while some economic trees can fetch you a lot of income,” the director said.(NAN)