Floods Decimate Nigeria's Rice Production, 25 % Washed Away
Floods have washed away at least two million tons of rice in Nigeria, the second-largest importer of the grain. This loss translates to more than 25% of the previously projected national output of 8 million tons, according to estimates by farmers.
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. Farmers there had targeted a 2.5 million ton contribution to the national basket, but will now meet less than 20% of the target.
Furthermore farmers in five other states -- Kano, Nigeria, Enugu, Jigawa and Nasarawa -- also reported damage.
A glum looking Sahabi shared:
“Although we heard the forecast of flooding this year, we didn’t expect that the damage will be of this magnitude,”
“Our target at state level was 2.5 million tons this year,
but now we are looking at only 500,000 tons of harvest
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In related news 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 were at risk of flooding due to heavy rainfall. Other crops such as sorghum, millet and corn were also affected.
Kabir Ibrahim, head of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria confirmed this saying:
“There is this trepidation that we might have food problems on flooding and existing insecurity challenges,
“It is 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.
Photo > Courtesy DoA