The Federal Capital Territory Administration in Nigeria has flagged off the sensitization and distribution of improved seedlings to farmers affected by disaster in some area Councils of the Territory as part of measures to mitigate the effect of flooding and erosion.
The FCTA through its Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat ARDS), initiated the intervention scheme mainly for 3,000 farmers in 21 communities affected by the flooding and erosion in Abaji, Kwali and Kuje Area Councils respectively.
Flagging off the exercise in Abuja, the Secretary, Agricultural and Rural development Secretariat, Mr Stanley Nzekwe, said the initiative was part of the rebuilding effort as recommended by a committee, which moved into the affected areas, and assessed the scale of damage caused by the flooding.
Mr Nzekwe, who was represented by Director, FCT Agriculture Development Project (ADP), Mr Musa Doma, said that to ensure the effectiveness of the intervention to affected farmers, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello approved assorted farm inputs for immediate distribution to farmers in 21 communities.
According to him, the items for disbursement include; 10.5 metric tons of rice, 10.5 metric tons of maize, 2,100 seedlings of cashew, 2,100 seedlings of oil palm, and 2, 100 seedlings of teak.
He recalled that as a result of the devastating magnitude of the incidence, many of hardworking farmers in those communities completely lost their crops and source of livelihood, thereby debilitating their abilities to cater for needs and their families.
Mr Nzekwe explained that while relief in the form of inputs be provided for the farmers, it was also imperative to deploy field agric extension workers of the ARDS to step down enlightenment on effective measures that can be adopted by farmers to mitigate the effect of flooding when it occurs.
” The findings of the Committee, which was conducted by the filed officers of the agriculture Secretariat indicated that a total of 3,000 farmers were affected b incidence.
“Even though flooding is a natural phenomenon caused by heavy and continuous rainfall, which causes riverbanks to overflow, there is a lot that farmers do to mitigate losses especially by adhering to some practices,” he stressed.
In his remarks, Chairman, Abaji Area Council, Abdulrahman Ajiya, described the initiative as a laudable precautionary and decisive measure to mitigate the seemingly recurring scourge of destruction of farms by erosion.
The Chairman who was represented by the Council Secretary, Mr Kamal Adamu Shiabu, Ajiya however appealed to the minister to not only give prompt attention when such incident occurs, but make the scheme a permanent measure.
He advised the farmers to take seriously best preventive measure towards the erosion and flood control as to halt future reoccurrence.
Also speaking, the representative of the Director General, FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Mrs Lady Florence Wenegieme who is the Deputy Director, Forecast Response and Mitigation at FEMA said that the timing of the campaign was apt, as it still period that the farming and rainy season heightens.
She urged stakeholders especially farmers and youths to take advantage of the exercise to help protect the environment.