Over 4,390 farmers affected by the 2018 flood disaster in seven local government areas of Anambra have received seedlings from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
NEMA’s Supervisor for the project, Mrs Bolanle Ojo, who dropped the hint in Ogbaru, Anambra North local government area of the state, put the total hectares of farmland affected by the flood in the state at 7,251.72.
She listed the affected local government areas to include Anambra East, Anambra West, Ayamelum, Ogbaru, Orumba North, Awka North and Ihiala.
According to Ojo, the victims would receive yam, rice, maize, tomato, pepper and vegetable seedlings as well as plantain suckers and cassava stems.
She said, “Yam farmers will receive 10 baskets of 60 pieces of yam per hectare each while cassava farmers will get 40 bundles of cassava stems each.
“Rice and maize farmers will receive 40kg of seedlings per hectare, while pepper farmers will get 0.4kg of seedlings, tomato farmers, 0.6kg, vegetable farmers, 2kg and plantain farmers, 40 bulks of plantain suckers.”
The Supervisor further explained agro-chemicals and fertilizers would be distributed to the farmers at a later time.
“The Federal Government is doing this to support the farmers affected by the 2018 flood in the state because a lot of farm lands were washed away while destroying many crops.
“Although some farmers bounced back, government realized that it was difficult for smaller farmers to bounce back because they continued to count their losses.
“The intervention, therefore, is to prevent food shortage in the country,” she stressed.
Ojo hinted that the agency had earlier distributed seedlings in some council areas but would be in Ogbaru for four days as a result of the huge population affected by the flood.
One of the beneficiaries and rice farmer, Mrs Mary Uyanne, who received two bags of rice seedlings, was full of thanks for the intervention having experienced a great loss to the flood.
“We were given two bags of rice to cultivate; my house, cassava and rice were all destroyed during the flood.
“I am happy that the Federal Government remembered us as a way to recover from the loss.
“It is a relief and I pray God to continue to bless them so they can remain a source of blessing to us.
Chairman of Rice Farmer Association, Odekpe, Mr Lazarus Ani, said he had been experiencing challenges since the flood devastated his farm and belongings.
He said, “We have been gnashing our teeth and crying since the flood incident, but today, the Federal Government through NEMA has sent these relief materials to us.
“We are now happy and hopeful that after cultivation of these seedlings, we will rejoice again during harvest.
“But we still appeal for more things like chemicals and fertilizers to enable us treat our crops for good yields.”
He also appealed for the construction of roads leading to some of the farmlands destroyed by the flood disaster.