Four hundred and fifty eight farms under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) anchor borrowers’ scheme have been submerged by flood in parts of Kwara State.
The farms are situated on the 3, 200 hectares federal government’s Tada-Shonga irrigation land for rice cultivation in Shonga, Edu Local Government Area of the state. The produce was due for harvest in October, this year.
The Kwara State governor, Alh Abdulfatah Ahmed, who led a federal lawmaker, Aliyu Ahman-Patigi, representative of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Elijah Aderibigbe and the Managing Director, Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority, Mr. Adeniyi Aremu, to the flooded farms, urged the federal government to come to the aid of the affected farmers.
Ahmed, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Alhaji Yusuf Abdulwahab, said the disaster had hampered the state’s quest to showcase it’s efforts in rice production.
He noted that the fund for the rice cultivation was sought from the CBN.
He said the flooded rice farms are part of the state’s major flagship agricultural scheme with huge value addition and appealed to the federal government to expedite action on dyke reconstruction.
The chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Water Resources, Aliyu Ahman- Patigi, expressed concern over the loss and advised the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to immediately come up with plans to mitigate the effect of the flood on farmers.
He said the sum of N720 million was budgeted for the construction of dyke in this year’s budget to permanently secure the rice farms against flooding in future.
Speaking in an interview, the representative of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Elijah Aderibigbe, announced that the first phase of the dyke construction would be completed by April, 2019.
Aderibigbe who is the acting Director of Irrigation and Drainage in the ministry, said the federal government was interested in the farms and would do everything possible to get the flood protection project completed.