Yemi Akinsuyi in Abuja
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has assured that the country would not be plunged into food crisis or famine as a result of the flood ravaging some parts of the country.
He gave the assurance on yesterday at the 2012 National Agriculture Show in Tudun Wada, Nasarawa State.
He stressed that the Federal Government had resolved to set up a Flood Recovery Food Production plan to support farmers in the flood affected areas.
``We have already put in place a Flood Recovery Food Production plan to support farmers in the flood affected areas.
“As the flood water recede, we will embark on a flood recession food production intervention. Let me assure Nigerians: we shall not have a food crisis or famine. We will recover from the flood.”
The Minister said that over 100 metric tonnes of maize seeds that matures in 60 days, to plant on 5,500 hectares of farm lands in affected areas has been secured.
This, he explained, will allow affected farmers to have a crop and feed themselves quickly before the next planting season, adding that it will yield over 11,000 tonnes of the crop.
“This will be complemented with an additional 500,000 tonnes to be produced under irrigation in the dry season,’ he said.
Adesina also said that the Federal Government had in the past one week, mobilised from within and outside Nigeria, over 20,000 metric tonnes of rice seed, enough to plant 400,000 hectare of farm lands in flood affected areas.”
He added that this would allow the production of 1.2 million metric tonnes of rice grain.
According to him, planting materials for cassava and yam will also be provided for the affected areas and that government is making accessible food from the strategic grain reserves to affected States. Adesina restated the call to protect farmers from the impact of climate change stressing also, the need to increase the weather- index crop insurance schemes for farmers.