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Friday, 23 November 2012 00:00
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SGR: FG marks first component, distributes 40,000mt to victims of flood

The Federal Government has launched the initiation of the first component, the distribution of food from the Strategic Grain Reserves (SGR) to families affected by the flood. The  Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, during the flag off of the distribution of the food relief items to flood affected families  in Ibadan, Oyo State, said  a total of 40,000 metric tonnes of food items, which includes maize, sorghum, garri and millet, were released and distributed from its Strategic Grain Reserve Silos (SGRS) located across the country.
Adesina, who disclosed this,  said that  Ibadan was one of the epicenters for the food relief effort to many states of the Federation.

He said that the Federal Government was delivering, free of charge to Oyo State, a total of 1,500MT comprising of 1,500 metric tonnes of food (50 trucks).  
He added that a total of 11,550 metric tonnes of food would be trucked out of the silos in Ibadan and Akure to provide Federal Government food relief for the following states: Anambra: 1,500 metric tonnes (50 trucks), Lagos: 1,200 metric tonnes (40 trucks), Imo: 1,200 MT (40 trucks), Ondo: 900 metric tonnes (30 trucks), Ogun: 900 metric tonnes (30 trucks), Enugu: 750 metric tonnes (25 trucks), Bauchi: 1,200 metric tonnes (40 trucks), Abia: 900 metric tonnes (30 trucks), Ekiti: 750 metric tonnes (25 trucks), and Osun: 750 metric tonnes (25 trucks).
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, who  gave a warning that no part of the distribution items should be sold, said: “These items are distributed free of charge and must not be sold. There must be transparency and accountability in distribution of the food items.

“Women and children, who are most vulnerable, should be the main target beneficiaries. Anyone caught selling or diverting the food relief items will be prosecuted and face the full weight of the law,” he noted.
He explained that the  reason for the initiative  was for Mr. President, through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development,  to further alleviate the problem of the flood victims in the country.
He added that it was also to put in place a National Flood Recovery Food Production Plan in the country.
He said  that the goal  was to ensure that the immediate food security needs of the areas affected by the flood were addressed.

He stated that, with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's efforts, they would  double up production in areas that were not affected by floods and  to ensure that country's  national food security was not threatened.
Consequently, when speaking further the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said that  Mr. President had approved the sum of N9.7 billion to implement that plan nationwide.
He said: “The plan has four components: first, we will release 40,000 MT of food from the strategic grain reserves to the families affected directly by the floods. Second, we will provide improved seeds and fertilizers to farmers that are directly affected. These will be provided free of charge, to allow them to quickly return to their farms, as soon as the flood water recede.

“Third, in states that are affected by floods, but with vast areas that are unaffected, we will provide improved seeds and fertilizers for farmers in unaffected areas to produce food for their states.
 Finally, in other parts of the country that are not affected by the floods, we will provide improved seeds and fertilizers to help them double up production,” he stressed.
Adesina also disclosed that Mr. President had approved the sum of N17.6 billion for the affected states to address the immediate challenges of displaced families, on food, sanitation, health and housing and has further put in place emergency measures that will reduce the impact of the flood on displaced farmers, allow them get back on their feet to return to their farms as soon as possible.

According to him, Mr. President appreciated the efforts and support of everyone in ensuring that the food-relief from the Strategic Grains Reserves reaches the intended beneficiaries.
Earlier, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development sympathized with those whose farms and properties were affected, and over the sad experiences that have engulfed the nation in the past months arising from the ravaging effects of the flood which had affected many parts of the country.
He stated: “The situation with the flood presents a huge challenge on food security in many parts of the country, including Oyo State. Farm lands have been washed away, farmers have been displaced and their food security has been compromised.

“But let me assure you that the Federal Government is taking all measures to mitigate the impacts of the flood.  Nigeria will not have famine. We will not have a food crisis. We will recover from the flood,” he added.