Farmers in Ondo state has been urged to register their farms with the agricultural insurance scheme to avoid total loss after natural disasters.
the Ondo State Commissioner for Agriculture Mr Adegboyega Adefarati, gave this advice after the tour of rice and vegetable farms destroyed by flood at Ogbese and Uso in Akure North and Owo Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
The tour was to assess the extent of destruction to the farmlands and the kind of assistance required to alleviate the farmers’ losses. According to him, farmers must take proactive measures to secure their farms by insuring them against natural disasters like flood and fire.
He said “It has become imperative for our farmers to key into agricultural insurance scheme to avoid losses during any natural disaster that affect farms. “It is very important that all farmers, whether assisted by donor agency or on their own as individuals take up the agriculture insurance policy.
“People will say, I have been doing rice farming here for over 10 years and this type of flooding has never happened. “But one cannot actually say when this kind of disaster will happen and the insurance policy to cover for the losses is just a token, like 2.5 per cent of the farmer’s total input in the rice farming. “So, we will need to educate our farmers more on the need to foresee this type of natural disaster and prepare for it in advance,’’.
The commissioner said that the damages to the farms could affect farmers and the economic growth of the state if urgent action was not taken. He appealed to the Federal Government to assist the farmers whose farmlands and crops were destroyed in the disaster.
State Project Coordinator, Fadama, Olusiji Olatunji, said that about 600 hectares of rice farms were destroyed by flood out of 1,300 hectares in Uso and Ogbese farm settlements.
He said that the Federated Fadama Association, under Rice Anchor Programme of CBN, through the Bank of Agriculture, cultivated 300 hectares of rice in Ogbese and Uso LGAs. According to him, out of these 300 hectares, 50 hectares of rice farms are destroyed in Ogbese and 250 hectares in Uso by flooding.
Olatunji said that the flooding also destroyed about 98 per cent of the rice plantation of some young unemployed youths, under the Akure Divine Group, in Ogbese.
The Coordinator said the extent of the destruction was saddening, adding that the youths secured bank loans on their own and added their personal savings to invest in the rice farming. “It is sad because the grant to farmers by Fadama lll project for free has expired and those farmers affected secured loans on their own to put on their farms.