The Federal Government on Sunday vowed to intervene speedily in Kebbi State to avert food crisis in Nigeria, following the devastating flood that washed off over 450,000 hectares of farmlands in the state.
It said the flood destroyed rice plantations and other crop farms in various parts of the state.
To mitigate food scarcity, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, said the government would provide improved seeds for farmers in the state to restart planting as soon as the rains receded.
He spoke during an on-the-spot assessment of the devastation caused by flood in the state in company with the Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu.
In a statement in Abuja by the Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Eno Olotu, the minister described the flood as one of the worst disasters witnessed in recent times.
He was quoted as saying, “What I have seen here today is very devastating. My coming here is at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari, who 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.”
In a related development, the wife of the Kebbi State Governor, Dr Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, on Sunday lamented the lives and farmlands so far lost to ravaging flood in the state.
She said an estimated N10bn worth of crops and livestock had been lost to the flood that came at a time the state had yet to recover from its financial losses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the statement, Shinkafi-Bagudu said the year had been a difficult one for the state.
She regretted that rice farmer would only be able to meet 20 per cent of their target this year as at least, 1.2 million acres of the crop had been destroyed by the flood.
The governor’s wife said, “Not quite recovered from financial losses and burdens of COVID-19 as a state, we now face another more urgent humanitarian crisis. Lives have been lost, many more displaced from their homes and an estimated N10bn worth of crops and livestock is gone”