In order to curb armed robbery and other criminal activities along the highways, the Kogi State Government has begun the planting of creeping crops along the cleared major roads in the state.

Performing the flag off ceremony for the planting of melon crop in Zariagi, Urukura, Irekpene and Idodenge Communities along Okene highway, the State Commissioner of Agricultural, Hon. Kehinde Oloruntoba stated that the state government has decided to plant creeping crops on the cleared lands to increase visibility for commuters plying these roads. Creeping crops grow parallel to the ground as opposed to bushes and other crops that grows vertically and provide cover for criminals who hide behind it to perpetrate their nefarious acts.

The commissioner explained that the choice of melon crop was not just because of its characteristic of growing low to the ground, but its ability to withstand roadside hazards, including being grazed upon by animals.

He stated that the ministry would plant the crop and allocate the lands to the farmers in the communities along the road. Noting that the farmers would own the land, harvest and sell the proceed for their personal gain. This, according to the Commissioner, will also empower the people and encourage them to embrace farming.

He advised the beneficiaries not to plant any crop other than melon, saying that melon was the only crop chosen for the wet season. He added that the second crop, sesame seed would be planted after the harvest of melon.

Hon. Oloruntoba stated that the same thing would be replicated across the three senatorial districts where lands are already being cleared along the roads. The state government, he said, is doing everything to reduce crime in the state and urged the people to support the initiative.

Speaking on behalf of the farmers, the chairman of Zariagi community, Mr. Ibrahim Jibrin, pledged the loyalty of the communities to the state government, adding that farmers would not plant any crop other than melon.