Farmers in Sokoto have been thrown into confusion and agony after many of them lost huge sums to the flood that is ravaging some coastal communities.

Some of them had borrowed the funds used in setting up the farm under the government's Anchor Borrowers' Programme.

Nigeria's dream of being self-sufficient in rice production is seriously being swallowed by the floods hitting rice farmers across the nation. 

In Sokoto, rice farmers said they had lost an estimated 61,197.5 tonnes of rice valued at 27.5 billion Naira due to flood this cropping season.

The state Chairman of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Ibrahim Salihu, announced the loss during a visit to some of the affected farms.

Salihu said that the flood affected 19,000 rice farmers across the 23 local government areas of the state.

“Based on the estimates, the cultivated farms’ yields lost to floods are 61,197.5 tonnes, because farms were submerged by rainwater and crops destroyed before harvest.

“According to bags, yields lost are 3,059,875 bags, while if converted to money each bag of 100kg is 9,000 Naira at open market, therefore, at least about 27,538, 879, 000 Naira was lost,” Salihu said.

He, however, added that a total of 27, 853 farmers registered under RIFAN/CBN Anchor Borrower Programme in the state have cultivated 17,485 hectares of rice at various sites.

Salihu said farm inputs were distributed to the farmers according to the hectares applied for, with a hectare attracting 205,100 Naira.

According to him based on estimates, each hectare will yield between 3.5 to 4 tonnes of paddy rice.

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The chairman said that the farmers had reached out to the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Company (NAIC) for remedy.

He appealed to the Federal Government to consider the plight of the affected farmers and support them with dry season farming incentives, for them to recoup their losses.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that officials of Central Bank of Nigeria, Unity Bank, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, NAIC and RIFAN National President, Aminu Goronyo were part of the inspection team.

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