Delta state government on Tuesday announced that it has opened a register for farmers whose farms were washed off by the recent flooding to document their particulars.
Mr Austin Oghoro, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, made the announcement to commemorate the World Food Day in Asaba.
He said that the theme for this year’s celebration, “Achieving Zero Hunger” was threatened by many factors, including natural disasters, conflicts.
He added that the Delta Government was working with relevant Federal Government agencies on ways to assist farmers who were adversely affected by flood.
He noted that the collaboration was aimed at stamping out hunger by the year 2030, adding that new agriculture programmes would be introduced to support farmers in the next budget year.
He explained that in spite of the impact of extreme weather conditions and other adverse phenomena like tsunami, earthquake, hurricane and flood, the world could achieve zero hunger through collaborative efforts with respect to adaptation and sustainable farming methods.
The permanent secretary said “our efforts at achieving zero hunger had not been without some challenges, the most daunting one – flooding.
“A good number of farmers suffered huge losses this year due to flood and in some cases, loss of lives was involved.
“Arrangements have been made to capture the details of all farm losses at the various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and Area Offices of the Ministry of Agriculture in the affected local government areas.
“We implore farmers affected by the flood to go and register,” Oghoro said.
He said that the state in its efforts to boost agriculture, food and jobs creation, distributed over 10,000 cuttings of improved varieties of cassava to 176 farmers for multiplication in 2018.
He said that rice farmers in the state also received support that culminated in the cultivation of upland and lowland rice on about 300 hectares.
He said that the support would be increased in the next planting season to accommodate dry season rice cultivation.
Oghoro said the state government supported cassava and rice farmers, as well as oil palm producers for the development of the entire value chain to serve as game changer in the agriculture sector.
Also for the protein need of the people and creation of jobs, he said, a good number of youths were engaged in fish farming and two fish farm clusters established at Ewulu and Mbiri.
He added that “both clusters have the capacity to produce 50.1 tonnes of fish per cycle.
“To promote the production of animal protein, a Broiler out Growers’ scheme has been put in place and a piggery programme is running currently with 25 farmers engaged and an estimated output of 107 tonnes in first circle in December.”
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