Following the devastating flooding that washed off over 450,000 hectares of rice farmlands and other crops in Kebbi State few days ago, the Federal Government has promised to mitigate by ensuring that the farmers get improved seeds to restart planting as soon as the rains recede.
Speaking during an on-the-spot assessment of the devastation caused by floods in the State, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono said, said it was one of the worst disasters witnessed in recent times.
He assured the affected farmers and the state government that his visit was to restore hope and build up confidence for the farmers in the state.
The Minister who visited the scenes of the floods in Argungu and also those along the Dukku- Makera Road that was completely washed off.
He said, “What I have seen here today is very devastating, my coming here is at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari who has sent me to commiserate with the people of Kebbi State over the flood and to give you hope and assurance that the government is concerned about your plight and will do something.
I appeal to the farmers not to despair that the government will address the situation.
He acknowledged that Kebbi State is one of the major producers of Rice in Nigeria ass well as other crops such as maize, groundnuts, wheat, sweet potatoes, sorghum and millet, stating that a loss to Kebbi will affect other states of the federation.
Nanono said the ministry will immediately set up a special committee to mitigate the situation and ensure that the dry season farming will be boosted.
The ministry will also encourage the farmers to explore the innovative early harvesting of their produce as is done with other crops and promised to assist them with improved seeds, he added.
Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu in his remarks lamented the massive loss to the flood has caused to farmers.
He explained that it is not only the rice farms that have been affected but also animal crops and fishing grounds, as well as human lives.
He acknowledged the resilience of the farmers and encouraged them to do more not only to compensate for lost grounds but also to generate more support.
He said “The latest flooding in the state is the worst after the 2012 experience and has affected over 450, 000 hectares of land stretching over 270km of farmlands.
I thank the the Federal Government for the proactive steps taken to embark on an immediate assessment visit to the state and promised that the state will remain focused and consistent with its agricultural programmes.
Hundreds of villages are said to have been affected and many homes washed away by the floods.
He team from the Federal Government also visited the Emir of Gwandu who is also Chairman, Kebbi State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Ilyasu Bashar.
He expressed appreciation for the speedy visit of the FG to commiserate with the state explaining that the flooding had affected many communities who had no option than to relocate.
He said the disaster came just when the people were recovering from the shock of COVID-19 and listed crops lost to include; Rice, Millet, Sorghum.
The traditional ruler also called on the people to be patient and appealed to the media to assist in sensitizing them on the government’s efforts.