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Food Security Threatened As Floods Destroy Farms

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images 4 1 Food Security Threatened As Floods Destroy Farms

Fear of food crisis is heightening in Nigeria following massive floods that are ravaging crop farms in many parts of the country.
Many farmlands were reportedly destroyed by floods in Kebbi, Zamfara, Niger, Rivers, C/Rivers, Sokoto, Bauchi and some parts of Kwara State.
Rice and maize farmlands were most affected and farmers fear this could further hike the prices of the staple food in the country.
A market survey showed that prices of food items are already going up in the market.
In Kano, a 100kg of maize now costs N20,000, N22,000 in Benue, N24, 000 in Abuja and as high as N25,000 in Lagos State.
The same size of maize sold between N9, 000 and N11, 000 last year across the country.
Also, 100kg of local rice now costs N55,000 in Kano, N58,000 in Abuja, while prices of beans range from N22,000 to N24, 000 per 100kg depending on the market and state.
– The warnings –
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) had warned that the current water level in the Middle Niger of the Niger Basin portends some level of concern for Nigeria as there could be a likelihood of river flooding in the states contiguous to River Niger.
The states, according to the Agency, are Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Rivers and Bayelsa.
The Director-General of the agency, Engr. Clement Onyeaso Nze said the country through Kebbi State might be flooded beginning from September 6
Reports from Kebbi had shown that several hectares of rice farms were washed away by flood and similar incidence was also reported in some parts of Zamfara, Sokoto, Bauchi, Kwara, Cross Rivers, Rivers and Niger states.
The incident is already a source of concern for stakeholders in the food sector as they are expressing fears that if the ugly trend continues, there might be food crisis in the country.
In Kebbi State, over 500,000 hectares of farmlands were reported to have been destroyed by flood.
The Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency, Sani Dododo, who announced the incident said rice farms accounted for about 450,000 of the hectares while the remaining 50,000 were for other crops.

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Agriculture

Food Inflation Up By 108% Since 2015 , Despite Billions On Agriculture

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images 2020 09 17T151826.988 Food Inflation Up By 108% Since 2015 , Despite Billions On Agriculture

Nigeria’s food inflation has more than doubled since August 2015, exactly 5 years after the Buhari Administration took charge of the Nigerian economy.
This was determined by comparing the composite index for food inflation rate in August 2020 versus same period in 2015. The difference is a whopping 108% increase in inflation rate, in just 5 years. Within this period, Nigeria’s exchange rate has been devalued by 49%.
Whilst the Nigerian economy has been ravaged by a very low oil price environment, since it fell from over $100 per barrel in 2014, most of the reasons for the increase in cost of living are partly attributed to some of the policies of the government.
Since 2015, the government has focused on a ‘grow-what-you-can-eat’ policy, pouring billions of naira into the agricultural sector. Since its inception in 2015, the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), has received about N190billion disbursement from the CBN.
Another N622billion was lent through banks under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme. Add the various grants, tax incentives, and concessions, that’s almost N2 trillion spent in the last 5 years on helping Nigeria to achieve food self-sufficiency.
Whilst modest successes have been recorded, the cost of staple food items remain high – galloping in each passing month. Since the border closure was announced in August 2019, the food inflation rate has risen every month,
from 13.17% in August of 2019 to 16% last month. It is projected to hit 20% by the first quarter of 2021 , when the effects of the increase in petrol and electricity prices are accounted for.
Nigerians have never had it this bad. Despite the good intentions of the government, things have not particularly turned out well. A common challenge in trying to solve a problem is not being able to manage what is outside of your control. In agriculture, a lot seem to be outside of the control of this government.
Yield per hectare for most farming is well below global standards, driving up the cost of whatever is left to be sold to Nigerians. Farmers also face insecurity, flooding, and sometimes famine affecting their ability to plant and harvest. Even after harvesting, supply chain challenges still persist, leaving farmers to contend with middlemen, transportation, and storage. The result is far less farm produce reaching the final consumer.
For items under its control, it still cannot determine the outcomes, and the causes and effects. Just last week, it announced the banning of maize, only to flip-flop after learning that poultry farmers lacked maize feeds to grow their chickens. It quickly granted licenses to four companies to import maize.
Thus, while the government attempts to manage what it can control such as banning of imports, denying access to forex, and of course border closure, it cannot solve all these problems with CBN funding and banning. They are structural, and require a better approach that is private sector driven, yet pragmatic. The government also needs to tell itself the truth; Nigeria cannot be self-sufficient by banning.
So long as we continue to avoid relying on data and objective reasoning, to balance the need for local agro-processing and imports to meet demand, food inflation will remain high and galloping. Who knows, by the time this administration’s tenure is up, we could be looking at a state of emergency driven by a full blown food crisis.

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Agriculture

Floods Washed Away More Than 25% Of Nigeria ’s Rice Harvest

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images 2020 09 08T140018.686 Floods Washed Away More Than 25% Of Nigeria ’s Rice Harvest

Floods washed away at least two million tons of rice in Nigeria, the second-largest importer of the grain. That is more than 25% of the previously projected national output of 8 million tons, according to estimates by a farmers’ organization.
At least 450,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) were destroyed in Kebbi, the country’s main rice-growing state, according to Mohammed Sahabi, the state chairman of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria. Planters had targeted a 2.5 million ton contribution to the national basket, but will now meet less than 20% of the target. Farmers in five other states — Kano, Nigeria, Enugu, Jigawa and Nasarawa — also reported damage.
“Although we heard the forecast of flooding this year, we didn’t expect that the damage will be of this magnitude,” Sahabi said by phone from the northwestern city of Birnin Kebbi. “Our target at state level was 2.5 million tons this year, but now we are looking at only 500,000 tons of harvest.”
Nearly 50 people died in Nigerian floods this year as torrential rains caused Africa’s most populous country’s two main rivers to overflow, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). The agency had warned that at least 28 of 36 states of West African nation were at risk of flooding due to heavy rainfall. Other crops such as sorghum, millet and corn were also affected.
“There is this trepidation that we might have food problems on flooding and existing insecurity challenges,” Kabir Ibrahim, head of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria said by phone from Abuja, the nation’s capital. “It will be too soon to know how devastating the impact is.”
Nigeria’s rice production was about 6.7 million tons in the last three years, with imports seen declining by 200,000 tons in 2020 from 1.2 million tons last year as price-sensitive consumers switch to local staples, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Agriculture

Imota Rice Mill : LASG Calls For Strategic Partners In Operation And Management

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images 2020 08 24T172213.681 Imota Rice Mill : LASG Calls For Strategic Partners In Operation And Management

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu wants sustainability at the core of operations, reason for the Expression of Interest (EOI) for strategic partners on the Operation & Management of the Lagos State Government Imota Rice Mill under a PPP Scheme.
#ForAGreaterLagos

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