Ekiti begins planting of five million trees to checkmate deforestation
As part of its efforts to check deforestation, erosion and to control flooding, the Ekiti State Government has begun the planting of five million crops and economic trees across nine government-owned forest reserves in the state.
Governor Kayode Fayemi, while flagging off the afforestation programme in Aramoko-Ekiti in Ekiti West Local Council, represented by the Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye, said 250 hectares of lands were being targeted under the scheme.
Fayemi added that the exercise, being prosecuted under the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Programme (NEWMAP), would ensure the planting of crops and economic trees, including indigenous species that would increase revenues of the people and that of government.
The governor said the programme would help in providing jobs for youths, control erosion and flooding, and boost the state’s economy.
Chairman, Ekiti State Forestry Commission, Mr. Kayode Olaosebikan, described the project as an investment that would profit the state in the future.
He said that forestry maintenance was integral to agriculture as it combats erosion, maintains soil fertility and helps to maintain the ecosystem for the well-being of plants and animals.
The former Commissioner for Youth and Sports stated that Fayemi’s government had done creditably well by prioritising the afforestation project, saying it will boost the rural economy in many ways.
ALSO, NEWMAP Project Co-ordinator, Dr. Akinyemi Akinlugba, disclosed that one million trees were to be planted yearly to regenerate degraded portions of the forests.
Akinlugba said that the trees, which are both indigenous and assorted, would be planted across the nine forest reserves and individuals’ farmlands for a period of five years.
“We have a roadmap that will guide us and it is to run for a period of five years. We are targeting one million trees yearly for five years as contained in our scheme of work.
“It is a partnership between the state government and the World Bank not only to control erosion and flooding that are destroying property and crops, killing and damaging lives and means of livelihoods but to serve as means of revenue for government and individuals,” he said.