16 January 2013

Nigeria: Anambra Needs N131 Billion to Rehabilitate Flood Victims - ADP

Mr Leo Imoka, the Programme Manager of Agricultural Development Programme in Anambra, has said that N131 billion is needed to restore flood victims in the state to their pre-flood conditions.

Imoka announced the figure in Awka on Wednesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The programme manager said the losses were colossal in terms of investment, agricultural seedlings, produce and damage to equipment.

The manager said the agency was working to avert the negative consequences of the disaster on food security, adding that it had started intervening with the distribution of early yield variety seedlings.

He said the Federal Government's agricultural policy of Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) was another major interventionist approach where about 50 per cent of cost of inputs was borne by the government.

Imoka noted that there was so much wastage in the agricultural sector as a result of poor post harvest handling of farm produce.

He expressed regrets that the opportunities in cassava had not been maximised due to scarcity of flash dryers used to convert the raw tuber to cassava pellets and chips, which he said were primary raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry.

"A lot of foreign exchange is being lost on cassava because of poor processing. We need flash dryers which are used to convert tubers to pellets and chips.

"The materials are in high demand in Asia and China because of the huge pharmaceutical industries there," he added.

Imoka said there wouldn't be food scarcity in the state as the national programme's short and medium-term food production policy on food security was being implemented.

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