National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has commenced the distribution of 50,000 bags of NPK fertilisers (50kg) to farmers affected by the 2018 flood disaster in Anambra.
It was gathered that the fertiliser distribution marks the last phase of support to the farmers by the National Food Security Council in the state.
Speaking during the distribution exercise, Mrs Bolanle Ojo, NEMA’s Supervisor for the project, explained that the agency had earlier in the year distributed seedlings and agro-chemicals to the affected farmers.
Ojo said the victims affected by the flood were from seven Local Government Area.
She listed the local government area which includes Anambra East, Anambra West, Ayamelum, Ogbaru, Orumba North, Awka North and Ihiala.
“The fertiliser is to support farmers affected by the 2018 flood in these local government areas and we have been on this project since April.
“We had given them some inputs in terms of seedlings and agro-chemicals and now, fertilisers to help them boost their yield.
“About 18 states were affected across the country, but in Anambra, seven Local Government Areas were affected on over 7, 600 hectares of land.
“The gesture is to ensure that there is no food scarcity in the country,” Ojo said.
The supervisor said the agency was also monitoring the utilisation of the inputs by the farmers to ensure the state gets its desired objectives.
“Each time the Federal Government supports the farmers, we visit their farms at random to ensure that the farmers planted the seeds.
“Agricultural Extention workers in the local government areas also assist in monitoring too,” she said.
Overall, we have seen excellent results in the field; the next thing we are expecting is a bountiful harvest and surplus food in the country,” she added.
Ojo, however, said that NEMA was facing a lot of challenges from farmers, who were not affected by the flood but wished to benefit from the project.
Some of the beneficiaries, who appreciates the gesture, expressed delight, they commended the Federal Government for coming to their aides.
A rice and yam farmer, Mr Bernard Nwakudo said his rice and yam crops have already started showing signs of a good yield.
“The only thing is that the fertiliser came late just like the yam seedlings, but we are very happy.
“Since flood started damaging our crops here, no form of support has reached us. Only this one from NEMA. So, we are happy that the items came and they came directly to us,” he said.
Mrs Ann Jideaku, a yam farmer, expressed happiness over the gesture, the quality of rice and yam seedlings she received. Jideaku however, appealed to the Federal Government to also consider financial support to the farmers so that they could expand their farmlands.
She advised youths to go into farming, especially the cultivation of rice, yam and cassava rather than staying idle or seeking white-collar jobs.