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SUNDAYlf,TRUST Sunday, October 21, 2012

Food crisis: No grains in over Nl40bn silos across Nigeria Contd. from page 8 Ffilcn1

Polyt~c

Road, Ado Ekiti has

~en

lying thrre empty, as no activities ace taking place a! Iu lite.. All'lIt'fTIpU made byou r rt-porlfiS 10 find out what quantitia of gr.tlnl gOftl'1U[)Cnl hILI a' Its grains le:HTVe cenlru IlCro!l$ the CQuntry did nOI yield positive raulu. After 5C'ndi og a questionnaire to Inc offil;r of the Minuter of ",,"iculture.nd ,ftET W3ltlng (or

many boun WI Friday 10 obtain respoJUeS to the questioN. out reponer l"U told that no orrlda.l wmud 10 comment on 0Ul' queries..

Gpnmmr:nl's approach imminent food crisis

to

The ftdnal pt'rnmcnl has lold Nlgrnan. not 10 pank over the speculations Ih.1 there may be food crisis or famine following the muslve destruction done to farm pmduu by floods ICfOU the country b«:aUM' It hu ahndy pUlln place a Flood Recovar Food Production plan 10lupport Carmen in the flood affected aras. The Minister of Agriculture and RIll1II IRvdopmcnt, Dr Aklnwumi Adeshlna made thi& dlsdomn: during the Natiorul

AgriruhuraJ show hdd In Nasanwa Slilte 00 October 13. 2012. He added thll wOen the flood wattr recedes, 80vcrnmenl will embark on .11ood rrteNKm food production intavl:IlUon. Hc said ~Lcl mc assure Nigerillls we shall nol have a food crull or faminc, We will recover from thc Rood, We have already SC'CUled 100 mclric Ions of lICedS of cltra· early maturing m.lz.c. which m.tufet In 60 da)". to plant on hactra of farm bnd.s in affected ar",. nu. wiD allow affected farmers to hav.: a Unac and fccd therrudva quickly Worc the IlQt planting season. Thb will producc 11 ,000 tons of ma.iu and will be complemmted with an addllkma.i 500,000 tons to be produced under Irrigation in the

S.soo

dry~'

The Minister ad~ that, in the put one Wttk. gowmmmi hQ mobiJizcd from "'ithin and outside Nisma, ovn 20,000 metrk Ions of rice ~ enough to plant <WO,OOO hectaret 01 rice (urn lands In nood affected areas. Thlt., he noted would allow the production of 1.1 mUlion mctrk tOIU of rice as govemmmt also plans to provide ~gs for cusava, yanu and a.iso make avaiJable food from tllC strategic grain

rl!lCrves 10 affected states. Dr Adeshina "ud ~wb.a[ doe$ thIS add up to In terms of rood production for our country? When ~ started, WE informed the country thai we would add 20 million metric 10nJ offood to our domestic: food supply by 20 15. Today. from our dforts thlsyear alone. from maize. r ice. cassava and sorghum we uc adding I toW of 8.1 million mctrl' tons of~. Tha[ Is 41"oflhe IOlal target thoU we set for 2015He obsct'Vft! that as part of the nood rKOVC'ry food production initlativc, tM Ministry of AJric:ullun: will distribute 1,000 pumps to fuffift5 to UJoI! for flood n!Cession food production In the: dry snwn. -"Ole Agrkultural Transionnation Agenda In Nlgeri. IJ wrlI on course.. We have been able to .lIraet S 7,8 bU1Jon of privatc SoCcIor Inva~t commitments Into the Igriculture $CCIm- in the put one ya:r. Ibc World Bank is pnrridlnl $500 million. The Bill and McI1nda Gates foundation hav.: Idccted Nigeria as I priority country Cor Its investment in agriculture.. Ibc International Fund for AgrkuJturc Devdopment has put up S80 million. Tbc USAID tw committed S60 mUilon. And the DFlD, Ford Foundation

. Or

"'kinwum l Adesirlll,. Minhtft of Agriculture and RUI'llI ~opment

and Rockefeller foundation h,v.: committed technkal suppon fadllllcs hc Slid.

IMore dams needed to boost rice production' middlemen beforc procCSJing rice. 11tb will also rcduce rlcc Importation. If we have thesc

Alhaji Abubakar Kaura Wodi is the National President of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN). In this interview, he explained how the torrential floods across the country affected rice farmers. Excerpts:

we un even aport rice. Whal do you think .boot the improved Jeed.linp I1lnrnment plans to lntroduce to (umenf Natura1ly. 1Igr1cultun: is a procC'5$ of tmprovcmcntIL1In whatever it is, thcrc mUSI be JOmC lapses, Apart from the shortage in the quantit}' offood we produce, we also have the probkm 01 priet:, which we musl txkIe if we 1WIDt 10 improve the rice production. We hav.: to tmpro¥C thc type or our rkc and we nccd modern rice proccs.s.l"llcchniquC'S. This will reduce the hardship we faa

By Abubabr Sadlq bab

H

ow did thU year'1 Rood affect nec rarmerd In flCt. It ..... really dcvastalins. It dr:stroyrd • lot of our oops. Allhough, We' know wt: an ulC'd to hrnng rJoods t:vety ynt. II has never come In thl.t magnitude. And tile unfortunate thing I.t that gowmments tried 10 warn people about It. but bccawc: of this ncgatiV'C attitudc of not bdining government official. statemcnts. IiumCfS didn't tue tnc warning seriously, Evm in Niger Republic. which I.t 1_ mountainous, flood cotmc and destroyed SO milfly things. The flood hit thc rice farmers hard. Can you IlYe ru aampla of how it Iffected IpedIk !annen! Tho5c: who farm along the rivrr banka wen mostly affecled.. Why it c:ame so dangcrousty was that. In tnc years past. floexls were: nCYtt In such magnitude. and therc w;u a Umit to the flood. I limit to which ria Carmen were used to. So, when gQftrnmcnt otrMials camc oot to IIlnowKe that thcrc was p , to be flood. nobody wu bothercd about it.

What dUaaMtoJll Ire: rkc fumc:n hl.,.ln, with pnm.mcntf Already, we starliCd Idling thcm how 10 give morc priority to lhe mai.ntJ::na.nce of Irrigation fac:llIt1et across the country. We have over 90 irrigation fadlities in the country. I! the government can put them in proper condition by making them funellonaJ, farmen can uUIb:e them, and this would reduCC' the cffccu of floodJ. SccondJy, the only thing we can do 10 make sun: that

blt.u rice farmenln Nilcria that arc .ffected by the Rood at' jllll lOmet In facl. o-vcr 60 pc:rcml of rice fumen In Nigeri. werc affected by tnc flood 1ICrOS5 the country. The flood submcrgcrl many rice fanna in T.... ba, Ilgawa. KogI andsomcother states. Most of our membcn were affected. How would the deYlJtltion affect the l uppl}' .nd pricc of rlu thlt yca rr Of course. thc flood ckva.oitation will affect lbe lurply and pricc of rice: especially in stales that arc mostly prD¥ided with rKe, IUch IJ Kogi, BcnucandTarabaStatC:l.. Othcr ntes in the South-Wcst are abo affected. why we Irc caJIInl on sovcmmcnl to make Irrigation I priority.

That. . ...lhaJI Abubaw KaUI'll Wadi, RifAN PfHideont we improve Q[I our ria product.lon Is by xqulrin, techno&ogy that Is .ffordabk to our local farmers. 'This will enable our nec compete fnourably with Imported ~ And tht' 10ICk of KrioIWl_ on the plri of ~nrncnt to pvc: atttnlion 10.gricultUn: iufi'ecling food production In Nigeria. I can n:membC'J' In 2002, II I Federal Eucutlvt CoundJ m«ting. during tnc administration of former President O luscgun ObaJan;o. I Insisted that hrmc.n couJd only opc:ralc if they were under a commodities U5OClatJon. That WI!I whalled him 10 C5tlbU$h f.rmen' commoditlesusoclallon. But Ihll WIt laler abandoned. Whatstr.tllqicsarethcf.rmcnputlinl In placc 10 (0pC' up bcfort the nut KUDn'

What we arc trying to do now Is to Incrcasc oor (arms.. We haft to imp~ our dforts and to Wo tntn;Ml:uce rkc seeds that an producc fasler, qukkcr and bigher. It IUch ~ ue in placc. we will plant them bet~ September. Odobcr and November; we should ha~ harva[cd our rice. Already, we will be holding. mcding on Monday (tomorrow) between stale chairmen of our auodation from tncsll; gco-poUtlcallOlIC'S.. The m«ting w'J I hold in Ahuja to dcllbcnle .nd consldu OUT str.r.tcgles befurc wc prescnt our position tothe SOftmmmt on what they should do to prevent a recunenee. In fact. the most Important thing is. we want government to provide us with proceasing Improved ~ings and macltlncs. so that we don't go through

II then .n allcrnat.m to mauivc Impol1lUon oHoodr There: Is no aitcrnalh-e. Thc only aitc:rnatlve II for govcmmcnt to Intmslfy efforts In Improvinl on IrrlpUon facilities so th.al rice fumcn can producc during thc dry SC'ISOn.. And kt me add that from what we h.v.: apcricIICed in this yc:u. thcrc is neN (or government 10 build more dllIl$ 10 that when waler is rcleucd. i[ ",ill Slon: In such dams, and later rdcucd during dry KISOn for farrncn to cultivate rice. This will hclp 1101. AI prClC'nl, the Fcdcr1lI Ministry of AgrkuitUfC Is not orgllliud I b.d said this be~rc the Scnatc CommlttC'C' on Agricultu~. What go-vcrnmenl needs to do is to havc an agriculturc commission, with lIS cha.irman and members compriSing people who ha~ apcrimce in fa.rming and farming techniqucs.


DAILY TRUST, 21 OCTOBER, 2012  

More dams needed to boost rice production

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