The recent flooding in rice producing Kebbi State has destroyed over 25% of Nigeria’s expected 8 million tons of rice harvests this year.
This was disclosed by the Kebbi State Chairman of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Mohammed Sahabi, in an interview with Bloomberg on Saturday.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier expressed worries about the effects of the flooding in Kebbi State on Nigeria’s Rice harvests this year. “It’s a setback to our efforts to boost local rice production; as part of measures to stop food importation,” he said.
“This bad news couldn’t have come at a worse time for our farmers; and other Nigerians who looked forward to a bumper harvest this year; in order to reduce the current astronomical rise in the costs of food items in the markets.”
Mr. Sahabi said that 450,000 hectares of rice were flooded and written off; and other farmers in Kano; Enugu; Jigawa; and Nasarawa also recorded losses. He added that heavy rainfall was predicted for the year, however, “we didn’t expect that the damage will be of this magnitude.”
“Our target at state level was 2.5 million tons this year; but now we are looking at only 500,000 tons of harvest,” he added.
The All Farmer Association of Nigeria warned that the flooding may lead to food security challenges; though it might be too soon to know the true impact of the heavy rainfall on agriculture output.