The Ekiti State Government has made a passionate appeal to the Federal Government for more help and empowerment for farmers affected by flooding and other natural disasters.
The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, made the appeal on Tuesday at the official flag-off of the agricultural inputs distribution to farmers whose farms, crops and animals were destroyed by flood in year 2020.
A statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, said a total number of 3,900 beneficiaries were captured under the distribution exercise packaged by the National Food Security Council (NFSC).
Items distributed to the beneficiaries include herbicides, pesticides, Knapsack sprayers, seedlings of rice, maize and yam, water pumps and other farm inputs.
The distribution was witnessed by the Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Capt. Sunday Adebomi (retd.) and officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) led by their Team Leader, Mr. Tope Ajayi.
Addressing the beneficiaries during the ceremony held at the SEMA head office in Ado Ekiti, Otunba Egbeyemi who commended the Federal Government for the gesture said Ekiti farmers needed more succour owing to the magnitude of losses they suffered from natural disasters.
He said: “We thank the Federal Government for these but I want to say that our people need more than these. We are also expecting more financial and material support for our farmers and other people who lost fortunes to disasters.
“These include our hardworking farmers who lost their farmlands, crops and animals worth several millions of Naira. These victims know the enormity of their losses and like Oliver Twist, we are asking for more.
“I must say that the different intervention programmes received from the Federal Government and NEMA over the years had not only improved the lives of affected victims but has also given them hope. The unflinching commitment of the Federal Government for giving support and priority to the farmers deserve more applause.
“If you will recall, about some months ago, NEMA in collaboration with SEMA, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and National Agricultural Insurance Corporation undertook a comprehensive inventory strategy which involves the enumeration and verification of affected farmers with the aim of providing and assisting them.
“So today, we are flagging off the distribution phase of the concluded verification/enumeration exercise and this occasion signifies the commencement of yet another major landmark efforts and commitment of the Federal Government to provide agricultural inputs to support farmers that lost their farms as a result of flood or related disasters.”
Speaking earlier, the SEMA boss, Capt. Adebomi, said the gesture resulted from the collaboration of the Dr. Kayode Fayemi Administration with the Federal Government “in the aspect of bringing hope to the lives of victims affected by natural disasters.”
He disclosed that the verification and enumeration exercise was jointly conducted by SEMA, NEMA and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with the verified farmers handed slips with which to collect their inputs.
While noting that the intervention couldn’t have come at a better time, Capt. Adebomi urged the beneficiaries to judiciously use the farming inputs for their economic wellbeing and improvement.
Some of the beneficiaries, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin and Mr. Ilesanmi Falana, lauded both the Federal Government and the Ekiti State Government for empowering them with the inputs and promised to put them into best use.
Another beneficiary, Mrs. Ronke Olagbemi, who said the inputs were long overdue said getting them was a dream come true noting that their hopes had been raised during the verification and enumeration exercise.
The SEMA General Manager, Mr. Jide Borode, said the distribution exercise will be daily conducted until all the 3,900 beneficiaries across the state are covered.