The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has begun the distribution of seedlings to 4,390 farmers affected by the 2018 flood disaster in seven Local Government Areas of Anambra.
Mrs Bolanle Ojo, NEMA’s Supervisor for the project, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday at Ogbaru, that a total of 7,251.72 hectares of farmland was affected by flood in the state.
Ojo said that the victims affected by the flood were from Anambra East, Anambra West, Ayamelum, Ogbaru, Awka North and Ihiala Local Government Areas.
The Supervisor said farmers affected by the flood in the state would receive yam, rice, maize, tomato, pepper and vegetable seedlings as well as plantain suckers and cassava stems.
According to her, yam farmers would receive 10 baskets of 60 pieces of yam per hectare each while cassava farmers would get 40 bundles of cassava stems each.
She said rice and maize farmers would receive 40kg of seedlings per hectare, while pepper farmers will get 0.4kg of seedlings, tomato farmers, 0.6kg, vegetable farmers, 2kg, and plantain farmers, 40 bulks of plantain suckers.
Ojo explained that agro-chemicals and fertilisers would also be distributed later to the farmers.
According to her, the Federal Government is doing this to support the farmers affected by the 2018 flood in the state because a lot of farm lands were washed away.
“Though, some farmers bounced back but government realised that it was difficult for smaller farmers to bounce back because they continued to count their losses.
“The intervention, therefore, is to prevent food shortage in the country,” she said.
Ojo said the agency had earlier distributed seedlings in some local government areas but would remain in Ogbaru for four days because of the huge population of those affected by the flood in the area.
A beneficiary and a rice farmer, Mrs Mary Uyanne, who received two bags of rice seedlings, said the intervention came her way having experienced a great loss to the flood.
“We were given two bags of rice to cultivate; my house, cassava and rice were all destroyed during the flood.
“I am happy that the Federal Government remembered us as a way to recover from the loss.
“It is a relief and I pray God to continue to bless them so they can remain a source of blessing to us.
Also, Mr Lazarus Ani, the chairman of Rice Farmer Association, Odekpe in Ogbaru Local Government Area, said he had been experiencing challenges since the flood devastated his farm and belongings.
“We have been gnashing our teeth and crying since the flood incident, but today, the Federal Government through NEMA, has sent these relief materials to us.
“We are now happy and hopeful that after cultivation of these seedlings, we will rejoice again during harvest.
“But we still appeal to government for more things like chemicals and fertilisers to enable us treat our crops for good yields,” Ani said.
The chairman also appealed to the government for the construction of roads leading to some of the farmlands destroyed by the flood disaster.
Mrs Roseline Nwabueze, who received yam seedlings expressed delight but noted that the timing for the intervention was not favourable for planting as the planting season for yam had passed.
“If it happened that these yam seedlings came around January, we would have preferred it than now.
“But we will try to plant them and possibly, if they yield good crops, we thank God and if they do not, we will take it like that,’’ she said. (NAN)No tags for this post.