By Auwalu Yusuf
A total of 281,432 assorted tree seedlings have been planted in 50 villages of Sandamu Local Government Area, Katsina State under the EU and Oxfam supported project on improving fuel wood balance in the state.
Alhaji Usman Ahmad, the council’s Director of Agriculture and Natural Resources told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Sandamu on Friday that the trees were planted between 2015 and 2018.
He disclosed that 654,090 other tree seedlings covering 17,622 hectares are being managed by 6, 273 farmers under a forest regeneration programme in the area.
Ahmad added that the local government multi- stakeholders committee had raised 240,000 seedlings through community nursery approach while 260,000 seedlings were raised by private nursery owners.
He noted that within the period under review, the programme has produced a total of 7,817 most efficient clean cooking stoves out of which 6,041 were distributed free of charge to farmers in the area.
The director explained that the stoves were part of campaign to reduce the instances of indiscriminate cutting of trees for firewood in the area.
According to him, the programme is being monitored and supervised by various agencies to ensure sustainability.
The director also said that from the inception of the programme in September 2015, no fewer than 4,500 farmers have directly benefitted from income generation plans while the trees have seriously reduced desertification and helped in environmental conservation.
NAN reports that the EU and Oxfam project was introduced across seven LGAs in Katsina state with a view to improving fuel wood balance, livelihood and resilience of rural farmers.
The project holding in Daura, Dutsi, Mashi, Sandamu, Maiadua, Baure and Zango LGAs was to wind up in September 2018, but was extended till January 2020 due to the positive impact it generated in the affected areas.