Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who is also the Vice Chairman of the National Food Security Council (NFSC), says no fewer than 382,208 farmers affected by flood in 2020, across Nigeria will get free farm inputs provided by the Federal Government .
Bagudu disclosed this in Birnin Kebbi on Tuesday at the National flag off of the distribution of the free farm inputs .
Bagudu, who is also the Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum, enumerated the items to include assorted seeds, seedlings, pumping machines , agrochemicals, sprayers and other related inputs .
The Kebbi State Governor also said that , those engaged in livestock production will benefit from the invaluable gesture of the Federal Government through NEMA
Bagudu stated that , the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), assisted by other collaborating partners had already duly registered all the beneficiaries.
He explained :” For the first time , President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the Chairman of the Council has approved the provision of insurance covers to the beneficiaries.
” All the beneficiaries will henceforth be insured ,hence, they don’t need future support in case of any flood eventualities .”
The Kebbi State Governor further underscored the importance of the insurance covers as they will help to reduce the burden .
Bagudu also disclosed that, President Muhammadu Buhari has mandated the Federal Ministries of Transport , Water Resources and Environment to come up with a National Drainage Architecture on the control of flooding to prevent threat to food security.
” Happily, this is also in the bid to reduce the perennial devastating effects of flood on the economy .
While lauding Buhari for the unparalleled gesture , Bagudu reiterated the commitment of the council to continue to support farmers and other agro allied and food processing industries .
Doing so, the Kebbi State Governor noted was to further bolster food security in the country as being championed by Buhari .
Governor Bagudu who is the Vice Chairman National Food Security Council and Chairman Presidential Task Force on Rice and Wheat Production in Nigeria, once again thanked President Muhammadu Buhari,the Federal Government, Ministers ,NEMA, SEMA and NGOs involved in bringing succour to the victims of the flooding .
He also commended the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA for being in the forefront in disaster management and mitigation.
Also speaking, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Saadiya Umar Faruk said that , the important occasion that signifies the commencement of yet another major landmark effort by the Federal Government to further support persons affected by the 2020 flood disaster.
She added :” Today’s event is a culmination of a follow up commitment to the initial emergency relief items distributed to the affected persons in the aftermath of the 2020 floods.
” This intervention was approved to provide emergency agricultural inputs specifically to further support farmers that lost their crops as a result of the destruction of their farmlands and the cutting off of access to croplands during the flood disaster.
“The unfortunate flood incident resulted in the displacement of several communities, damage to infrastructure, destruction of crop lands and widespread environmental dislocation.
“The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, in response to the incidence activated the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to conduct detailed assessment of the situations and make recommendation for intervention.
” In consideration of the severe devastation, President Muhammadu Buhari, deployed a high level delegation of Ministers, including my Ministryself, to visit some of the affected states including Kebbi State to commiserate with the people.”
According to the Minister , what was witnessed during the visit was quite devastating as large swathes of agricultural investments were lost to the flood waters thereby destroying the livelihoods of the famers and threatening food security.
“The successful implementation of this intervention is therefore very important in assisting farmers with modern farm inputs and seeds that will support their speedy recovery from the disaster impact,” the Minister , added .
In his closing remarks, the Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Mustapha Habib Ahmed, commended Governor Bagudu for embarking on the agricultural transformation which facilitated the attainment of self sufficiency in food production in the state and Nigeria.
He appreciated the doggedness and unflinching commitment of Mr President for placing priority and supporting small scale farmers.
“These are real farmers that toil come rain, come shine to feed the nation, safeguard our national food security and our pride as a people.
“Nigerians are now proud to eat the produce of the Nigerian farmer. Beyond saving foreign exchange for Nigeria, farming is now an illustrious profession, thanks to Mr President,” he said.
He described the Green Revolution started by the President Muhammadu Buhari as the catalyst which enabled Nigeria to stop food importation,save foreign exchange and make her citizens eat what has been produced by Nigerian farmers.
Ahmed also appreciated Hajiya Farouq and thanked Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Sabo Nanono and Minster of Finance, Hajiya Zainab Shamsuna for their passion and commitment to give succour to distressed persons and to help them get back to their feet whenever disasters occur.
The NEMA DG advised beneficiaries of the farm inputs to use them judiciously .
The Vice Chairman, Agricultural Intervention Committee of NEMA, Muhammad Bandele Onimode announced that benefiting farmers in Kebbi State would receive seedlings of Rice, Maize and Surghum, Fertilizer, Herbicides, Pesticides, High-Power pumping machines as well as agricultural enhanced enhancers.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Kebbi State Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Maigari Abdullahi Dakingari expressed gratitude to Federal Government for the intervention to Kebbi farmers,saying that ‘ This positive development came at a better time , this apt gesture by FGN is commendable “,.
He sympathised with farmers over the monumental lost they have incured as a result of the devastating effect of the flood on agricultural produce, lost of lives , farmlands, houses and property.
Dakingari advised the government to evolve an annual strategy so as to tackle flooding which poses a threat to food security.
The Commissioner thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for providing assistance to Kebbi State and for choosing to flag off the national distribution of farm inputs to the victims of the flood.
He equally appreciated Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu for his untiring effort to visit all communities affected by the floods and providing succour as well as settlement to displaced persons .
One of the female beneficiaries, Farida Shehu thanked the federal government for coming to their aid, assuring that they would use the inputs judiciously.
Malan Shehu Fari Jega, another beneficiary expressed deep appreciation to the President and Governor Abubakar Atiku for the kind support to farmers which according to him would motivate them to improve production.