Flood: Delta rice farmers commence harvest

The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Delta Chapter, says its members have commenced harvest ahead of the anticipated perennial flooding in the state.

Chief Sylvanus Ejezie, the RIFAN State Chairman, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba on Monday.

Ejezie said that members having studied the scenario and suffered years of harvest losses to flooding, started planting early to harvest early.

He said that the farmers commenced planting in May through July for the year’s wet season farming to enable them complete harvest of produce in September and October.

Ejezie said that on his own, he had completed harvest, adding that the produce had been taking for processing and weighing.

He said: “In the state, we started wet season planting early in May through July, we suffered drought but we managed it.

“I have completed harvest of my produce though other members are at different stages, but in all, we are not going to suffer the impact of flooding like other years.

“I have taken my produce for processing and weighing, and soon, by October we shall go into dry season farming.

“As commercial rice farmers, we go into all season farming to sustain our business. Moreso, I will be doing the dry season farming in safer area next month, but not near flood prone area.’’

According to him, the farmers have become wiser and have repositioned to protect their business from the impact of flooding.

He said that members were also expected to conclude harvest by October.

NAN reports that the state RIFAN is currently benefitting from the Central Bank of Nigeria -RIFAN Anchor Borrowers Loan Programme. (NAN)