Buhari rues N15b Kebbi rice investment as flood wash away farmlands
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep concern over the heavy floods in Kebbi State, that took a number of lives, threatens Nigeria’s N15b rice investments, as thousands of hectares of farmlands and houses, farm produce and personal belongings are destroyed in the
This is coming on the backdrop of a report that more of such flooding from the Niger Republic is expected to affect more communities In Kebbi from the 6th of September, which may ravage the rice farms covering over 40 kilometres.
Some of the rice farmers with farmlands covering over 15,000 hectares, fear that the flooding will greatly impact negatively on output unless something drastic is done.
Some of the communities have been submerged with over 10 major bridges destroyed
According to the President, “I am particularly sad over this incident because it’s a setback to our efforts to boost local rice production as part of measures to stop food importation.”
President Buhari noted that “Kebbi State is the focal point of our policy to produce rice locally as part of this administration’s commitment to agricultural revival which suffered relative neglect in favour of food importation.”
He said that “With the loss of six lives and still counting; thousands of hectares of land flooded and estimated economic losses of more than one billion Naira by rice farmers in Kebbi State, we face a major setback in our efforts to boost local food production.”
President Buhari noted that “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.”
The President, while sympathizing with the bereaved families and farmers affected by the devastating floods, has assured that “we are going to work closely with the Kebbi State government in order to bring relief to the victims.”