The heavy flooding in some states of Nigeria may lead to a shortage of rice in 2019, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Audu Ogbeh has said.
About 14 states in the country experienced flooding this year and Ogbeh said the development portends danger for the nation’s rice production.
He said this on Thursday in Abuja during the inauguration of the National Agricultural Seed Council Molecular Facility and the 2018 Seed Fair and Farmers’ Field Day.
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.
“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.”