By George Odok
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has distributed agro-inputs to 4,311 farmers that were affected by the 2020 flood disaster in Cross River.
Director General of NEMA, Mr Mustapha Ahmed, who flagged off the distribution to the affected farmers on Thursday in Calabar, said that Cross River was among the worst-hit states during the 2020 food disaster.
Ahmed recalled that during the 2020 flood disaster, NEMA staff were deployed to the field, including communities in Cross River that were affected by flood and other secondary hazards.
He said that the staff were directed to undertake damage and loss assessment in collaboration with the Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
He explained that reports from the exercise were utilized by the state and Federal Government authorities to guide short term humanitarian interventions while at the same time serving as a guide for long term recovery planning.
According to Ahmed, further verification exercise was also conducted to compile a database of farmers that lost their crops to the floods.
“What we are witnessing today is, therefore, a fulfillment of the Federal Government’s commitment to give a lasting recovery intervention to the farmers and to ensure the completion of their recovery cycle in line with global best practices.
“A total of 4, 311 farmers were verified and are slated to benefit from the Federal Government’s agricultural inputs intervention.
“The materials are herbicides, pesticides, rice seedlings, maize and yam seedlings, water pump, sprayer fertilizer, among others.
“Cross River Government, through its very active SEMA, has been an important partner of the National Emergency Management Agency.
“NEMA in partnership with the Cross River Government has executed a rehabilitation programme in Agwagune community of Biase Local Government Area of the state,” he said.
The DG noted that on April 2, 2015, NEMA handed over a massive intervention in form of building materials to the Cross River SEMA.
“It is my hope that the laudable rehabilitation programme is completed for the benefit of the community that has over the years suffered annual flooding,” he said.
Also, the Director General of Cross River SEMA, Mr Princewill Ayim, commended NEMA for giving priority to farmers in Cross River to also benefit from the intervention.
Ayim, who noted that Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River, placed premium on agriculture, said that the inputs would help the farmers to improve on their crop production.
He urged the farmers to make judicious use of the inputs with a view to improving their crop production.
Commissioner for Agriculture in the state, Mr Okon Owuna, said that the intervention by the Federal Government would further drive the process of agricultural production for local consumption and export.
One of the beneficiaries, Ms. Abigail Edem, thanked NEMA and the Federal Government for responding to their plights. (NAN)