//Murphy Ogbaje, Kaduna//
Kaduna State government is partnering National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to engage 10,000 Corps members across the 23 local government areas of the state to ensure the success of planting of 10 million economic trees under the Keep Kaduna Green (KKG) initiative embarked upon by the state government within the next three years.
Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Daniel Manzo Maigari, who stated this when the Coordinator of the scheme in the State, Mohammed Momoh paid a courtesy visit to the ministry, added that corps members will be paid undisclosed allowances and prizes given to any corps member with the highest surviving trees at the end of service year.
The Commissioner opined that after careful study of similar government programme in the past, he has come to realize that the sustainability of the tree planting programme depends on partnership with NYSC which is non partisan, non tribal and non religious.
According to the Commissioner, the seedling to be distributed include sheer butter, cashew, Mouringa e.t.c. With this government intervention, investment will flow into value chain and government will use one stone to kill two birds to create shelter belt and boost economic empowerment of the rural people.
Dr. Manzo further said, “agriculture has been with us, we grew up to meet forestry and we took it for granted. From now, our major challenge will be environmental issues; reality of desertification is staring on our faces”.
He stressed that congestion in Kaduna is as a result of people migrating from far Northern States, who were seriously affected by desertification and the collapsed of rural economy. This has resulted to increase in crime rate within Kaduna state.
“To combat desertification and boost rural economy, the state government will deploy 100 million economic trees to rural people free of charge between 2016-2019”, he added.
Earlier, the State Coordinator acknowledged the receipt of letter of invitation to partner with the state government programme, saying the programme is in line with the cardinal programme of the NYSC Community Development Services (CDS).
Momoh then stated that NYSC has enough manpower and will set up NYSC action steering team which will include Zonal Inspectors and Local Government Inspectors to interface with the technical committee to fashion out the details of partnership.
The inclusion of Zonal and Local Government Inspectors in the committee would enable the divisional forestry officers work with NYSC officers at the grassroots to achieve the objective of the programme.