By Ike Obi
Following recent upsurge in the activities of bandits, kidnappings, farmers/ herders clashes across the country especially in the Northeast, the National Coordinator of the Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society Mr Retson Tedheke has called on the Federal and state government to take urgent steps towards reafforestation as one way of addressing the situation
Retson spoke with Daybreak correspondent in NFGCS farm settlement in Gaate Kokona local government area of Nasarawa state.
“The northern governors must stop talking, they must start acting. The North needs to start a reafforestation program that is targeted at planting one million trees annually over the next decade. They must begin the process of recharging the Lake Chad with the help of the federal government and support of donor agencies.
“They must start building mini dams in every local government along rain channels that can each hold a minimum of one billion cubic litres of water beginning from November every year when the rain ends to March when it begins,” he said.
He noted that the NFGCS Farms Has Planted 5,000 Mangoes, 10,000 Masquerade Trees, 1,000 Guavas, Dogoyaro, Pine Trees, Oranges and Cashew in its over 3000 hectares land in Gaate.
“apart from the economic benefits of these trees it would also help in soil conservation and biodiversity, which is beneficial to farming. Our vision is long term hence we have committed to planting trees.
If government is serious about tackling the security challenges in the north and boosting agriculture, this is one solution that cannot be ruled out.
“When you have more trees it would also help recharge Lake Chad over the next decade. This is How you reafforest Nigeria, this is how you encourage agriculture and making it sustainable, yhis is how you stop migration of cattles down south, this is how you also solve insecurity using plantation. He said.