The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has confirmed the position of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), that the recent flooding of some farmlands across 12 states in the country notwithstanding, the country would not experience any food crisis.
In its just published third quarter 2012 Gross Domestic Productivity (GDP) report posted on www.nigerianstats.gov.ng, the national statistical agency pointed out that its analysis suggested that the impact of the recent flood in some parts of the country would not be severe in view of the fact that each crop type has a gestation period and prevalence in each state.
The bureau's findings confirmed the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina's position which he has consistently maintained over the past few weeks that extensive surveys carried out based on technology-driven satellite images, remote sensing and vegetation data, showed clearly that there had been exaggeration of the impact of the floods on crop production in the country.
The NBS report stated: "In addition to the prevailing (though gradually improving) security challenges facing most agricultural producing states in northern Nigeria, growth in the sector was also partially affected by floods, which reached a peak between late October and early November 2012, affecting several states across the country to varying degrees.
"However, due to the fact that the peak of the flooding was towards the end of the third quarter, the impact on agricultural production was less observed during the quarter. It is conceivable that the full impact of the floods will be more visible in Q4 2012 and Q1 2013.
"Nevertheless, NBS' preliminary analysis suggests that the impact of flooding on agricultural GDP may not be as severe as feared. This is because agriculture in Nigeria is such that each crop type has a different gestation period and prevalence in each State leading to different harvesting periods in different parts of the country
Relying on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) findings on the flooding which affected mostly Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, and Taraba, the Bureau explained that although some of the affected states were known for the production of crops with significant contributions to crop production GDP but that it should be noted that not all parts of these states were inundated by the floods affected farmlands.
Meanwhile, the report has revealed that in terms of output, the real agricultural GDP growth in the third quarter stood at 3.89 per cent as against 5.76 per cent in the corresponding period of 2011.
It attributed the slowdown in the GDP growth rate partly to security challenges facing most agricultural producing states in Northern part of the country.