By Ibrahim Shuaibu in Dutse
The Jigawa State Government Thursday said this year’s flood disaster has ravaged 120,000 hectares of farmlands, while a number of villages were also submerged by water.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Alhaji Kabiru Ali, told reporters in his office that 140,000 farmers in the state were affected.
The commissioner disclosed this when the Sasakawa Global 2000 Country Director, Prof. Sani Miko, visited him in continuation of SG 2000 media field day tour.
According to him, “A lot of villages were submerged, schools were closed and in some areas you see classrooms half full with water.
“Most of the crops along the river banks including rice, sourghum, cowpea, groundnut and millet were destroyed by the flood.”
The commissioner also explained that the state government had already procured improved seeds worth N500 million for immediate distribution to farmers to enable them plant them during the dry season farming.
Ali said the seeds are expected to produce early maturing crops to cushion the effect of the flood disaster suffered by the farmers in the state.
He called on the Sasakawa Global 2000 to come to the aid of farmers in the state especially in the area of granting credit facility to farmers as well as capacity building for extension workers to enhance their performance.
According to him, most of the local farmers are poor and they need support to enable them remain in the farming business.
Speaking also, Prof. Miko expressed the readiness of the organisation to expand the area of collaboration between it and state government to boost agricultural production in the state.
He said Sasakawa Global 2000 would introduce ‘climate smart agriculture’ to overcome some of the challenges being faced by the state in view of the fact that the state is prone to desertification.
“We will intervene through the introduction of early maturing crops to cushion the effect of the flood disaster suffered by the farmers in the state,” he said.
He also commended the state government for its continuous support to the organisation within the last 28 years of collaboration.