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    HomeLatest NewsFlood destroys over 600 hectres of rice farmsland in Kogi

    Flood destroys over 600 hectres of rice farmsland in Kogi

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    Olu Samuel, Lokoja

    As flood continues to ravage several parts of Kogi especially the riverine areas, residents whose major source of livelihood is rice farming has continued to lament their losses as over 600 hectres of rice farmland has been submerged in water.

    Recall that flood came visiting the state about a week ago, leaving many residents, especially those close to the bank of River Niger, homeless and at the mercy of relations and friends for temporary accommodation among other inconveniences.

    This followed the opening of Lagdo dam Las week followed by torrential rainfall on Sunday

    Many residents are still feeling the effects of the ravaging flood in the area as at the time of this report on Thursday.

    Our Correspondent reports that the beneficiaries are vulnerable farmers under the IFAD-VCDP Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) while the programme is aimed at cushioning the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on rural farmers.

    The farmers who are mainly from Ibaji, Lokoja and Ajaokuta Local Government Areas, told Kogi VCDP Media team and Newsmen on Thursday in Lokoja, that all their rice farmlands had been submerged by flooding.

    The Ibaji Local Government Liaison Officer, Mr Achogu Fredrick, said about 216 rural farmers in Ibaji who benefitted from the IFAD-VCDP RPSF, had all lost their rice farmlands to flood.

    According to him, each of the 216 farmers had one hectare of rice farmland, totaling 216 hectares in Ibaji, adding that all have been submerged.

    He stated that IFAD/ VCDP painstakingly funded RPSF to pull farmers from the dungeon of poverty created by COVID-19 19 in the system but that unfortunately,the flood had pushed the people back into hunger and starvation.

    ”The RPSF grant which was a palliative to support us as vulnerable rural farmers to cushion the effect of the COVID-19, has been lost again.

    ”A total of 216 farmers who benefitted from the RPSF grant have lost everything to the flood. Indeed, it is a double tragedy for us.

    ”We did not only lose our farmlands but also our houses and properties. “Presently, the fear of what tomorrow holds for the farmers is what is in the heart of the people now.

    ”We are calling on the federal, state government and other relevant organisations to come to our aid, because this is a colossal damage which can not be repaired.

    Infact, the entire Kogi VCDP farmers are in mourning mood currently.”he noted.

    Other beneficiaries in Ibaji: Mr Friday Ofor, Joel Ogala, Enefo Festus, Samuel Joseph and Victoria Ajodo, in their separate comments, also expressed sadness over the sudden loss of their rice farms to flooding.

    ”We never expected this kind of great loss, it took us unawares. We are appealing to the relevant agencies and authorities to come to our aid,” Ajodo said.

    In their separate comments, the youth and women farmers’ leaders in both Kabawa and Magajiya Clusters in Lokoja, Seidu Liman and Maryam Abubakar, respectively, who were beneficiaries of RPSF described the loss as a great damage to them and their families, after investing time and resources only to swept away by flood.

    Liman said the devastating effect of the loss of their rice farmlands to flooding would be huge on them and their wellbeing.

    They further called on the government to come to their aid by providing palliatives for immediate relief.

    The affected farmers in all the three local government areas, lamented that they did not only lost their farmlands but also their buildings and properties.

    They stressed that the flood had further exposed them to more suffering than before.

    Speaking on the incidence, Dr Stella Adejoh, State Programme Coordinator of IFAD/VCDP, expressed sadness over the destruction of rice farms of the vulnerable rural farmers by flooding

    According to her, several people lost their means of livelihood during the COVID-19 pandemic, and consequently faced with hardships including vulnerable rural farmers.

    She explained that IFAD-VCDP, through the RPSF grant, decided to help the vulnerable farmers affected by the pandemic to bring them out of their poverty situation.

    Dr Adejoh said the farmers were provided with grant in form of inputs by IFAD such as fertilizer, certified rice seed, selective and non-selective herbicides, among others.

    She noted that a total of about 614 rural farmers cut across the four rice producing Local Government Areas of Lokoja, Ibaji, Ajaokuta and Kabba/Bunu, benefitted from the RPSF in the state.

    ”It is very unfortunate and devastating that these poor vulnerable farmers have now lost almost everything due to flooding. I feel very sad and demoralized over the colossal loss,” she said.

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