On Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the flood disaster in Kebbi State has exposed the country to a major setback in the efforts to boost local food production putting citizens at risk of widespread famine.
“With the loss of six lives and still counting; thousands of hectares of land flooded and estimated economic losses of more than one billion Naira by rice farmers in Kebbi State, we face a major setback in our efforts to boost local food production, said Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
“This bad news couldn’t have come at a worse time for our farmers and other Nigerians who looked forward to a bumper harvest this year in order to reduce the current astronomical rise in the costs of food items in the markets.”
Buhari said, “I am particularly sad over this incident because it’s a setback to our efforts to boost local rice production as part of measures to stop food importation.
“Kebbi State is the focal point of our policy to produce rice locally as part this administration’s commitment to agricultural revival which suffered relative neglect in favour of food importation.
President Buhari expressed his deep concern over the heavy floods that took a number of lives, submerged thousands of hectares of farmlands and houses, destroying farm produce and personal belongings in the affected communities.
He regretted that this was coming at a time a farmers were looking forward to a bumper harvest this year. The President, while sympathising with the bereaved families and farmers affected by the devastating floods, assured that “we are going to work closely with the Kebbi State government in order to bring relief to the victims,” Buhari also said.