• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Flooding slows agric growth to 2.05% in 2022 Q4

Flood: Hunger looms as farmers count losses in Edo

Nigeria’s agricultural growth slowed to 2.05 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022 owing to the devastating flooding incidents recorded in key crop-producing states and the supply chain obstruction caused by the Russian-Ukraine war.

The sector grew by 2.05 percent in Q4’22 in real terms, less by 1.53 percent when compared to the corresponding period in 2021, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows.

NBS attributed the decline in growth to the severe incidences of floods experienced across the country.

“Although the agricultural sector grew by 2.05 percent in the reference period, its performance was significantly hampered by severe incidences of flood experienced across the country, accounting for lesser growth relative to the fourth quarter of 2021 which was 3.58 percent,” NBS said in the report.

Ibrahim Kabiru, national president of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) also agreed that the slow growth is owing to the devastating flooding that destroyed hundreds of farmland across the country last year.

“While the slowed growth in the sector is the effect of the three threats of covid-19, insecurity, and incessant flooding, it is even more so because of the 2022 devastating floods,” Kabiru said.

While Nigeria regularly experiences seasonal flooding, the floods of 2022 have been the worst since 2012, according to the country’s agricultural ministry.

The floods destroyed rice, maize, sorghum, millet, beans, groundnut, beans farms, and livestock in their numbers, with farmers in the North-East region as of October last year, expressing concerns over large-scale destruction of produce, saying the damage caused by the disaster could be estimated at over N30 billion.

In an October 14 interview last year with BusinessDay, the AFAN president said: “In some cases, the plantations and livestock were lost completely, whereas, in others, sizable quantities were lost.

“On the whole, we can safely say that about 60 percent or more of the expected yields were lost to flooding.”

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the sector saw an increase of 0.71 percent from the preceding quarter (Q3’22) which recorded a growth rate of 1.34 percent.

Nigeria’s agriculture has long been touted as the sector that can drive economic growth and development if adequately supported to grow food in a sustainable way.

Kareem Yusuf, general manager of sustainability software at IBM, in a November 25 interview with BusinessDay said: “Emerging technologies are a critical tool in our arsenal for curbing the progression of climate change and managing its effects.”

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Maria Helena Semedo, deputy director general of the FAO, while speaking during the launch of the Food and Agriculture for Sustainable Transformation initiative during COP27 climate talks last year, says countries need bold transformative actions to boost Agrifood system and support to ensure that resources reach food producers across the value chains.