By G9ija

No fewer than 140,000 farmers in Jigawa were affected by the recent flood disaster which ravaged most of the farms located along the river banks in the state.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Alhaji Kabiru Ali, disclosed this when he received the Country Director, Sasakawa Global 2000, Prof. Sani Ahmed-Miko who paid him a courtesy visit in Dutse on Thursday.

He said that following the flood disaster, over 120,000 hectares of farmlands were destroyed while a number of villages were also submerged.

“Most of the crops along the river banks including rice, sourgham, cowpea, groundnut and millet were destroyed by the flood.

“A lot of villages were submerged, schools were closed and in some areas classrooms were half full with water,“ he said.

The commissioner said the state government had already procured improved seedlings worth N500 million for immediate distribution to farmers for planting during the dry season.

He said the seeds were expected to produce early maturing crops to cushion the effect of the flood disaster suffered by the farmers in the state.

He called on Sasakawa Global 2000 to come to the aid of farmers in the state especially in the areas of granting credit facility to farmers as well as capacity building for extension workers to enhance their performances.

According to him, most of the local farmers are poor and needed support to enable them remain in the farming business.

Earlier, Ahmed-Miko, expressed the readiness of the organisation to expand the area of collaboration between it and Jigawa government to boost agricultural production in the state.

He said the organisation would introduce what it described as ‘climate smart agriculture’ to overcome some of the challenges being faced by the state because “the state is prone to desertification”.

“We will intervene through the introduction of early maturing crops to cushion the effect of the flood disaster suffered by the farmers in the state,” he said.

He, however, commended the Jigawa government for its continuous support to the organisation within the last 28 years of collaboration.

Sasakawa Global 2000 team was in Jigawa in continuation of its media field day tour.