The Federal Government has warned that due to the flood which affected over 14 states this year, Nigeria is at risk of facing a shortage of rice in the following year.
This was revealed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, at the inauguration of the Nigerian Agricultural Seed Council Molecular Facility and the 2018 Seed Fair and Farmers Field Day in Abuja on Thursday.
Ogbeh said that rice availability in the country was at risk and would be scarce next year because the flood-affected major rice producing states in the country. Some of these states include; Kebbi, Jigawa, Anambra, Kogi.
According to him, “We have to find a way to reach out to farmers who have lost their crops because, in places like Jigawa, Kebbi, Anambra and Kogi, many farmers lost everything they planted.
“New varieties of rice are being produced at the National Agricultural Seed Council, the Faro 66 and 67, which are flood-tolerant; we hope to get them into the field in large quantities for farmers to plant in the near future”. He said
“We are also hoping that as soon as the rain recedes, we encourage farmers to replant so that the residual moisture in the soil plus irrigation can give up another crop, maybe by the end of December or early January. Otherwise, we may be in serious trouble for millet, rice, maize and sorghum.” He added