Rice farmers in Sokoto State on Thursday said they have lost an estimated 61,197.5 tonnes of rice valued at N27.5 billion due to flood this cropping season.
Alhaji Ibrahim Salihu, the state Chairman of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) made the disclosure during a visit to some of the affected farms.
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Salihu said that the flood affected 19, 000 rice farmers across the 23 local government areas of the state.
“Based on the estimates, the cultivated farms’ yields lost to floods are 61,197.5 tonnes, because farms were submerged by rainwater and crops destroyed before harvest.
“Yields lost can be quantified to be 3,059,875 bags, while if converted to money each bag of 100kg is N9,000 at open market, therefore, at least about N27, 538, 879, 000 was lost,” Salihu said.
He however, added that a total of 27, 853 farmers registered under RIFAN/CBN Anchor Borrower Programme in the state have cultivated 17, 485 hectares of rice at various sites.
Salihu said farm inputs were distributed to the farmers according to the hectares applied for, with a hectare attracting N205, 100.
According to him, based on estimates each hectare will yield between 3.5 to 4 tonnes of paddy rice.
The chairman said that the farmers had reached out to the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Company (NAIC) for remedy.
He appealed to the Federal Government to consider the plight of the affected farmers and support them with dry season farming incentives, for them to recoup their losses.
Officials of Central Bank of Nigeria, Unity Bank, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, NAIC and RIFAN National President, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo were part of the inspection team.
Areas visited by the team included Goronyo Dam, Takakume, Falaliya, Lakoba and Wurno Rice Farms, among other areas affected by flood.