20 November 2012

Nigeria Records 1.2 Million Metric Tonnes of Production Loss to Floods

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has disclosed an estimated production loss of 1.2 million metric tonnes of crops to the recent flood that swept through some states of the federation.

Adesina, while speaking on the divergence between the areas flooded and crop loss during the disaster, said the estimated crop loss affected was 1.17 per cent of the total cultivated crop area in the country.

He said that this was the result from the satellite imagery and remote sensing data of International Water Management Institute, the world's leading centre for water management and issues of flood engaged by the government.

The government, he said, was determined to know "the extent of the flood; the extent of the inundation and how soon the flood water will recede for us to carefully plan our post-flood food production strategy. They also used satellite images to measure crop land under inundation to determine crop loss estimates", the minister added.

According to him: "These satellites, remote sensing and vegetation data are the most rigorous and reliable ways to determine extent of flooding and crop losses. They showed that there is a big divergence between the areas flooded and crop loss".

"Even at the peak flood period of October 12-13, which one would expect for maximum crop loss, their estimates showed that the total flooded area was 1.4 million ha. The estimated area for crop loss was 467,000 ha.

"Nigeria's total cultivated area under crops is 40 million ha of land. That means that the estimated crop loss affected was 1.17 per cent of the total cultivated crop area in Nigeria. Let us look at production loss. Even if we assumed an average yield of 2.5 tons per ha, it means that the estimated crop loss would be about only 1.2 million MT of production loss", he said.

Adesina informed that a detailed breakdown of the satellite imagery and remote sensing analysis, based on vegetation data, showed that 12 states were worst affected by the flood, with Taraba which has a total of 256,800 ha flooded, with estimated crop loss on 106,400 ha.

He listed other worst affected states as Kogi, with inundation on 341,900 ha and crop loss on 72,200 ha; Niger with 187,500 ha under inundation, estimated crop loss on 52,800 ha and Anambra, with a total inundate area of 118,300 ha, out of which 42,100 ha is estimated to have experienced crop loss during the peak flood period.

The minister maintained that "the general hype that there is massive loss of farmlands all across the bread basket states of the country is not correct", adding that most of the cultivated area in these affected states did not experience crop loss.

He described as baseless the media hype on impending food crisis or famine in the country, assuring Nigerians that the government had put in place adequate measures to addressing the impacts of the disaster.

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