The European Union (EU) has donated 120,000 assorted tree seedlings to Sandamu Local Government Area of Katsina State.
Alhaji Usman Ahmed, the Director of Agriculture, Sandamu Local Government Council, disclosed this in Sandamu on Monday.
He said that the council had started planting the seedlings in its efforts to implement the four-year EU fuel wood balancing programme in the area.
He said that the EU initiative was aimed at providing sustainable energy due to the deficit of firewood, while protecting the environment against desertification and boosting the economic well-being of the people.
Ahmed said that the council had taken delivery of 10 varieties of tree seedlings from the National Planning Commission and the EU for distribution to interested farmers at no cost.
He said that the varieties of the seedlings included eucalyptus, neem, albezia, moringa, jastropa,gum arabic, pawpaw, patenolra, cashew and depsonia.
He said the target of the scheme was 1,500 farmers, adding, however, that only 214 farmers had so far indicated interest in the programme.
“We encouraged the farmers to plant the seedlings either on their farms or in their gardens,’’ he said.
Ahmed said that the programme would be executed under five planting models which included institutional planting, woodlots, home gardening, wind brake and plantation cultivation.
“We are providing a hoe, a watering can and one litre of pesticides free of charge to those who partake in the programme,’’ he added.
He said that programme was specifically aimed at providing sustainable energy because of the shortage of fire wood and addressing the growing menace of desertification in the area.
Ahmed said that more than 100 youths had received training under the programme on how to construct clean cooking stoves, as part of efforts to empower the unemployed people in the area.