The Akwa Ibom Government has cautioned farmers and residents against bush burning to avoid preventable fire outbreaks.
The state’s Commissioner for Agriculture Rural Development, Dr Offiong Offor, gave the warning in Uyo on Wednesday, at a news conference to enlighten the public on the dangers of bush burning.
According to her, bush burning can cause serious fire outbreaks and air pollution, including the destruction of properties and soil organisms that are beneficial to plants.
“Bush burning has been a common practice, being one of the steps of land preparation for the planting season in rural areas.
“Though the practice may have been inherited from our forebears or viewed as the simplest method of controlling weeds, it is not healthy for the environment and crops.”
Offor cautioned farmers and hunters against the ill practice, adding that there were no justifiable reasons for the practice when compared to the consequences.
She advised farmers to rather adopt the culture of using the dry and decaying leaves to mulch the crops for nutrients.
“Allow the vegetation to get dry, pick up the sticks as firewood and use the dried vegetation to nurture the soil as manure,” she stressed.
She expressed concern over a recent report of a fire incident, caused by bush burning that destroyed an entire building in one of the local government areas.
She assured that the ministry was working closely with community leaders and officials of the local government councils to sensitise the people about the dangers of bush burning.
Offor urged community members to contact the ministry through extension agents in event of any case of bush burning in communities for appropriate action to be taken,” she said.