Delta loses 1044 metric tons of rice in 261 hectares farmlands
The Delta State Government has lost over 1044 metric tons of expected rice yield from 261 hectares of farmlands estimated at N.18 billion to flood disasters.
The breakdown indicated that 162 hectares of rice farms under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, 25 hectares under the state supported rice-farming programme and 74 hectares under the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurial Programme were lost to floods.
Expectedly, frontline rice farmer and producer of unity rice in the state, Raymos Guanah, who confirmed this, blamed the loss on late forecast by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET).
He added that the expected yield was pegged at a minimum of four metric tons per hectare with a total projected yield an estimated 1,044 metric tons.
Guanah, a former commissioner in the state, however, described the loss as immense and unfortunate, stating that all the rice farms in the state have been submerged by flood.
“True to type, the NIMET forecast came to pass, all the rice farms in Delta State have been submerged by flood, my only worry is that NIMET didn’t give us the prediction as early as January or February.
“The prediction came about three months to the flood, and my position is that if NIMET gave us early warning, we may not have gone into cultivation, or do those quick maturing crops, but our rice farms are completely gone, it is a very unfortunate situation.”
It was gathered that the financial value approximately range from N180 million to N1.18 billion at the rate of N170, 000 per metric ton as the loss had dealt a hard blow on the state government.
Guanah said a letter had been written to the National Agricultural Insurance Company (NAIC) and the state government and expressed hopes that the affected farmlands would be assisted through the provision of necessary incentives.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Austine Chikezie, confirmed the loss, saying that government was, however, committed to ensuring adequate production of rice for Delta people before year end.
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