2018 FLOOD: FG Engages 2779 Farmers In Agric Intervention Programme In Delta

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba

No fewer than 2, 779 farmers impacted by 2018 flooding in Delta state have keyed into the Emergency Agricultural Intervention programme of the Federal Government.

The project which was designed and coordinated by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was targeted at achieving the National Food Security in line with the objective of the Committee on Food Security.

NEMA Supervisor in charge of the Agricultural Intervention Programme in the state, Mr. Chidi Ogundu, was on inspection and assessment visit to some of the farms in Oko communities, Oshimili north council area of the state.

He said a total of 3,102 hectares of farmlands were affected by the 2018 flood in the state, adding that more than 2,779 farmers were penciled to benefit from the agricultural intervention programme.

Ogundu said the flood impacted farmlands cut across 16 local government areas in the state.

According to him, the impacted LGAs were Oshimili South, Oshimili North, Aniocha South, Ndokwa East, Ndokwa West, Isoko North and Isoko South local government areas.

'' Others are Patani, Udu, Ughelli North, Ughelli South, Bomadi, Burutu, Warri South, Warri South West and Warri North local government areas."

"NEMA designed and coordinated the Emergency Agricultural Intervention in all the flood and conflict impacted states in the country.

"To achieve success in this programme, NEMA works in collaboration with the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), the state ministry of Agriculture in enumeration of the affected farmers and verification of the farmlands.

“The meetings were followed with the receiving and distribution of seedlings and subsequently, the distribution of sprayers and Agrochemicals.

“As the supervisor of the project, I worked with the team that was given to me and the process was so smooth.

“The team joined me during the enumeration exercise, which started precisely on April 19 and after the enumeration, the farm inputs such as yam seedlings vegetable seeds, cassava stem, plantain suckers, agro-chemical and sprayers were distributed to the farmers,” he said.

He explained that the distribution of the seedlings, cassava stem, plantain suckers and vegetable seed was carried out first before the distribution of agro-chemicals and sprayers to the farmers.

According to him, the slips given to the farmers during the enumeration was also demanded from the farmers during the distribution of seedlings, inputs and chemicals.

He noted that the team experienced some challenges in the implementing the project in some areas of the state due to the riverine nature of the areas, “but in spite of the little challenges, the farmers gave their full support”.

On the success of the project, Ogundu said, ''as the supervisor of the project in Delta, I can boldly that that I am satisfied with the success of the programme in the state because the farmers are so happy with the programme.”

Some of the farmers expressed delight and had commended the Federal Government for the intervention.

Mrs Oyinye Oduah, Cassava farmer in Oko Anala community, said "I have never seen it like this before. Government will always come with promises which they never fulfilled, but the intervention came and it was immediately implemented.

"I was given cassava stems, agrochemical and even sprayer and today my cassava farm is doing well and very soon, I will start harvesting them.

"I am very grateful to the Federal Government, NEMA for fulfilling their promises to us, whose farmlands were affected by the 2018 flood,’’ Oduah said.

Mr. Ogbeh Okelue appealed to government to provide them with boats to enable them access their farmlands during the rainy season.

He also appealed for that fish farmers be support with fingerlings since there is great potential for fish farming in riverine communities.