Destroyed cassava plants in Kogi state following floods in 2012. Photo: Nigerian Red Cross
Last summer, Nigeria suffered its worst flooding in 50 years. Four months on, small farmers in Kogi state, the worst affected zone in the centre of the country, are struggling to rebuild a normal life after their harvest was destroyed. Our Observer reports on the alarming state of the agricultural sector there.
According to the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, 1.2 million metric tonnes
of foodstuff were destroyed and 40 million hectares of farmland were flooded. Several farmers have asked the government
for new seeds and machines in order to recover their losses.
At the end of November, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimated around 30 million euros’
worth of humanitarian aid is needed following the floods, and expressed food insecurity issues in several areas. The country was flooded during the rainy season that began in July – the downpours lasted until September. 363 people died and more than two million people have been displaced
In Nigeria, the most populated African country with 162 million people, the agricultural sector employs 70% of the population and contributes to 33% of GDP. Crops most affected by the floods were cassava, plantain, yam, maize and papaya.
Kogi, a large agricultural region, under water. Photo taken in November. Flickr ShelterBox (Ian Neal)