The Federal Government has commenced the distribution of 25,263 NPK fertilisers to farmers affected by flooding in Kwara.
The distribution was flagged-off by Mrs Sadiya Umar-Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
The minister was represented by the Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), AVM Muhammadu Mohammed (rtd.).
Farouq said that the fertiliser distribution was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
She said that the approval was given under the Emergency Agricultural Intervention Programme to farmers affected by conflicts and flood in 2018.
The minister said the exercise was the final phase of the Federal Government’s assistance to farmers to enable them to recover the losses suffered during the flood.
According to her, the intervention is also to alleviate poverty and empower the affected farmers.
Farouq said that the special intervention comprised distribution of seeds and seedlings as well as agrochemicals and knapsack sprayers.
“After verification, 3,468 farmers were given various farm inputs.
“The total quantity of NPK fertilisers required after verification of the flood to the affected farmers is 25,265 bags of 50kg, which have been delivered to the state.
“Starting from today, the delivered items will be distributed to affected farmers in Edu, Moro and Patigi local government areas,” she said.
The minister, however, stated that the annual flood outlook for 2020 had predicted Kwara to be among the highly probable flood risk.
”Hence the need for the state government to take proactive and necessary measures to address the issue.
”I advise the state to direct the state Emergency Management Agency, frontline local government authorities and other response agencies to be prepared,” the minister said.
Farouq advocated for public enlightenment campaign, targeting vulnerable communities to undertake mitigation actions.
She tasked the state government to set up internally displaced persons (IDPs) camp to shelter the evacuated communities.
In his address, Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq commended the Federal Government for the symbolic flag-off of distribution of fertiliser to farmers in the three local government areas.
AbdulRazaq, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Saba Jibril, also expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for the palliative sent to the state during the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.
He, however, called for support from the Federal Government to enable the state to tackle the ecological challenge currently facing it.
“We want to sincerely appreciate the president for the unprecedented support which we have received, including being in the A-list in federal appointments. We have never had it so good.
“Let me also commend NEMA for its support since we came on board. We look forward to more, as we continue to support the next level agenda of Mr President.
”Kwara is becoming a hotspot for an ecological problem that not only threatens the multi-billion naira farmlands and properties but also human lives.
“For this reason, we urge the Federal Government to urgently consider Kwara for special support to tackle this problem.
“To avoid the loss of lives and property, which we recorded last year, our administration has recently started dredging and de-silting of River Asa, as a proactive measure to avoid flooding.
”We have also recently launched a tree planting programme, but these challenges are beyond what our finances can cope with as a state,” the governor said.
In his reaction, one of the beneficiaries, Ahmed Hussein, from Edu local government, lauded the government for providing succour to the affected farmers.
He said that the assistance would go a long way in ameliorating the loss suffered by the farmers as a result of the flooding.