Farmers count losses, as flood ravages 150,000 hectares in N/East
Farmers in the Northeast have called for urgent intervention to avert hunger as flood ravages over 150,000 hectares of farmlands.
The farmers, who expressed concern over large-scale destruction of produce, said the damage caused by the disaster could be estimated at over N30 billion.
They said urgent interventions were necessary to mitigate the effects of the disaster, reduce hunger and encourage development of adapting climate change technologies to enhance food security.
The farmers made the call while responding to a survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the effects of flood in Bauchi, Damaturu, Dutse, Gombe, Maiduguri and Yola.
According to official data, the flood killed over 100 persons, destroyed hundred thousands hectres of farmlands, displaced thousands of people and cut off several roads across Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe and Jigawa states.
In Jigawa, the disaster ravaged 138,442.36 hectres of farmlands, displaced 1,554 farming communities and killed over 90 persons across 22 local government areas of the state.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Awwalu Danladi said the government had constituted an assessment committee, which examined the extent of damage caused by the disaster.
He said the flood destroyed farm produce such as rice, sorghum, millet, groundnut, sugarcane, sesame, cowpea, beans, among others.
He listed the affected areas to include Dutse; Birnin Kudu, Kiyawa, Buji, Miga, Jahun, Gwaram, Ringim, Garki and Taura.
Others were Hadejia; Kirikasamma, Guri, Kafinhausa, Auyo, Malammadori, Kaugama, Kazaure, Babura, Roni, Gwiwa and Yankwashi.
He said the committee recommended for construction of reservoirs/dams and embankments, desilting of waterways, erection of diversion spillway channels and afforestation programme to control perennial flooding in the state.
The committee, he said, also called for provision of fertilisers, improved seeds and chemicals to the affected farmers to enable them to engage in dry season activities.
According to statistics of the Jigawa State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), indicated that the agency, in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) distributed food and non-food items to the victims of the disaster across the state.
One of the affected farmers, Ado Musa said such support was imperative to enable them to replant and cultivate their farmlands to minimise losses and enhance food security.
“Government should support farmers to engage in massive dry season activity to produce more crops and replace the ones lost to the flood.
“Farmers should be empowered with all the needed inputs to produce massively during the dry season,” he said.