..Says Timing Was Wrong
The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Isoko South local Government Area Chapter has commended the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Ministry of Agriculture for sending relief materials to victims affected by 2018 flooding.
Amongst items disbursed to flood victims that had been data captured were cassava cuttings (TMS 419), yam seedlings and plantain suckers.
Comrade Steve Great Arauwou, chairman of the farmers’ group in a statement on Thursday, however lamented the gross insufficiency of the items brought for disbursement and the sample target of about 260 selected beneficiaries which they said is most inadequate when compared to the almost 10,000 names of displaced farmers submitted by AFAN to the various flood response agencies.
They also expressed displeasure over the late timing in bringing the relief materials to the people when the area’s planting season was over and in fact when many are harvesting their crops to beat the menace of the rising flood.
Consequently, the statement urged NEMA to pay particular attention to the time the items are most needed for planting, saying “they should not be brought when its of less or no use to the farmers”.
They enjoined the Head of Agriculture and Natural Resources(ACAO) in charge of the Ministry of Agriculture in Isoko South, Mr Edafe Omorojo Ekoko to keep to his promise of championing and advocating an Agricultural Production Response calender to serve as a guiding policy in planning, research and statistics for the government and other donor agencies.
According to the farmers, “Agricultural matters and the selection process of the farmers should emanate from the experts (ministry of agriculture ) who normally seek a helping hand from recognised body of AFAN. This is to wade off relief items getting into the wrong hands, for the above mentioned know the locals and genuine farmers better
“The issue of storage is a big problem in Isoko South as the advent of the flood forces a supply pull that does not favour the farming population. Here we see farmers selling off their wares at give away prices and most times at below production cost just to dispose them off than risk their sweat getting perished. The huge investments in cassava, groundnuts, yams and plantains in these areas often suffer setbacks,” the statement added.