Fear of maize shortage grips Jigawa

There is growing anxiety in Jigawa State over the fear that the state may run short of maize produce this year. The fear is as a result of flood disaster that destroyed 90 percent of expected maize output in the state.

Our correspondent reports that over 6,000 hectares of maize farmland were destroyed in the state this year.

Flood disaster which has become a yearly phenomenon in the state is posing serious threat to food security in the state as it has led to significant drops in its agricultural output. It was learnt that the flood was as a result of heavy downpour and overflowing of River Hadejia. Mostly affected are the farmlands close to the bank of River Hadejia. Farmers said as a result of the flood, they are expecting as low as 10 percent of maize output at the end of this year’s harvest season. The state chairman of the Maize Farmers Association (MFA), Yusuf Hassan, told our correspondent in Dutse that maize farmers in 20 out of 27 local government areas of the state were affected. He said the situation was worse because the maize were not ripe for harvest when the flood ravaged the farms and so no one could take anything out.

The maize farmers chairman lamented that over 50, 000 maize farmers were affected by the disaster in the state. He said in a normal farming season that was devoid of any form of disaster, maize production in Jigawa State could approximately be put at 250,000 tonnes per annum, but that the situation is declining as a result of the yearly disaster. He said 907 hectares of maize farms under the federal government Anchor Borrower Policy were touched by the flood.

Hassan said the only solution for now is for the government to be proactive by providing the affected farmers with residual maize seedlings which would enable them replant immediately the flood recedes. The chairman recalled that such assistance from the state government last year rescued those affected then. “There is a great concern over the level of destruction in maize farms across the state. The heavy downpour recorded in the state this year coupled with the overflowing of River Hadejia have dealt blow to maize farming in the state. “Over 6000 farmlands were destroyed by the flood. Ninety percent of maize produce that was expected to be harvested this year was washed by the flood. What we will all be able to harvest this year will not be more than 10 percent. “Over 50,000 maize farmers, both individuals and those participating under anchor borrower scheme the were affected by the flood. Of 1,395 anchor borrower maize farmers, 907 were affected. “Our major problem that always leads to flooding in our farms is the release of water from Challawa, Tiga and Bagauda dams in Kano. Whenever these dams release waters, it leads to the overflow of River Hadejia.

The river passes through many LGAs in Jigawa and as such, all farmlands along the river bank are prone to flood disaster,’’ he narrated. Reacting during an on the spot assessment of the affected farms, the Jigawa State Deputy Governor, Umar Namadi, told Daily Trust that the state government was working assiduously with a view to finding a lasting solution to the yearly flood disaster, saying for the agricultural inputs that were destroyed by the flood, government is making efforts to ensure that the farmers in the state were not thrown out of business. “Government will provide the farmers with residuals seeds that matured early. The seed can grow to maturity on the moisture that remains behind after the flood must have receded. Through this intervention, the state will not be at any risk of food shortage as what was lost could be recouped with ease.”


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