Flood will not affect rice production, supply ― RIFAN
The National Leadership of Rice Farmers Association (RIFAN) has said the recent flood in the North West which damaged a lot of farmland would not affect rice production and distribution in the country.
RIFAN alongside State Chairmen from the North West of Nigeria took an on-the-spot assessment visit to Kebbi and SokotoSstate as the flood continued to wreak havoc in Rice farming communities.
Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, RIFAN National President who led the team visited Jega, Jega local Government and Argungu in Argungu Local Government Area of Kebbi State.
The team accompanied by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) officials expressed worry over the destruction of farmlands by flood after huge investment by Farmers.
Muhammadu Augie, Kebbi State Chairman of RIFAN told the team that what has been lost to the flood cannot be quantified at the moment but is in Billions of Naira.
“Farmers have invested a huge amount of money borrowed under the CBN Anchor Borrowers through RIFAN, they have made all the necessary activities from land clearing, planting and Fertilizer applications everything, just close to harvest time we are experiencing this.”
The National President of RIFAN, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, said more than One million farmers would be mobilised to engage in the next dry seasoning farming.
He is optimistic that Nigeria will not experience scarcity of Rice Paddy as a result of the disaster.
“The CBN governor had directed RIFAN to mobilise 1 million farmers that can quickly produce five million metric tonnes during the dry farming season commencing in November 2020, for support,” he said.
Goronyo said the federal government support for this year’s dry season farming would be coming through Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and assured the flood victims that officials from the CBN would soon arrive in Kebbi State for assessment with a view to providing immediate intervention.
The Representative of the Central Bank Governor, Benedict Agu said farmers operating under Anchor Borrowers programme will be given every opportunity to be on their feet despite the setback.
“There is an insurance premium that has been paid for every farmer that participated in the Anchor Borrowers programme so that will help recouped whatever losses, and also with the planting that will take place as soon the water reseed the farmers will be able to come back to the business.”
The team also paid a sympathy visit to the Emir of Argungu, Samaila Mohammed Mera who also lost more than a 100 hectares of Rice Farm and Fish pond to the Flood in Argungu.
While at the Palace of Emir of Argungu, the RIFAN president assures the Emir that all the necessary support will be given to farmers in Kebbi state.
“RIFAN will first give priority to farmers in Argungu, it is here we leant that thousands of hectares of Rice were lost,” Goronyo told the Emir.