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April 15, 2024

Bayelsa Rice Farmers Decry Flooding, Pests Attack

Rice farmers in Bayelsa state have ,on Monday, in Yenogoa, urged the government to put necessary measures in place to save their farms from being washed away by flood.

This came after the Federal Government recently warned that 13 states including Bayelsa could be affected by flooding as a result of heavy rainfall.  

According to them, the rising water level in the surrounding rivers is a threat to their premature rice farms as they do not have nearby functional processing facilities.

Speaking with newsmen, the Managing Director of Ovieya Rice Farm, Ovieya Sini, noted that he had invested much in his 15 plots of rice farm in Famgbe Community, Yenagoa, adding that his major fear was the rising water level which made it difficult for him to access the farm except with canoe.

He also said that constant attacks by pests and unavailability of a functional processing facility in Yenagoa made things difficult for him and other rice farmers in Bayelsa.

Sini called on the government to assist the farmers with pesticides and processing facilities in order to produce rice that could feed Bayelsa and other neighbouring states in Niger -region.

“I am operating a rice farm that is more than 15 plots of land in Famgbe Community, but currently confronting the challenges of flooding of farmlands.

“Pests attacks and unavailability of nearby processing facilities are serious issues; that is why I am calling on government intervention to save the farm and help me produce rice for use in the state.

“Another challenge here is how to convey the farm produce to upland for procession; you know our terrain is riverine.

“But if the government can assist us with boats and other palliative measures, we can produce rice that feed Bayelsa and other states, our land is good for rice cultivation.”

Still speaking, the managing director appealed for financial assistance from the government in order to help the farmers to expand their farms. He said that such financial assistance could enable him to expand his plots from 15 to 30 or 50 plots and contribute in tackling food shortage in the society.

“I have invested many resources already in the farm; but if the government can assist with pesticides, tackle flooding in our society, we will have a bumper harvest.

“My vision is to produce rice that feeds Bayelsa and other neighbouring states, as well as acquiring a processing machine that will help process our harvested rice in Bayelsa,” he said.

Furthermore, another rice farmer, Bestman Ogbogi, lamented that the farms were already under flood and pest attacks. He said that the water level had risen and was flowing into their farms and pleaded with relevant authorities to intervene and save their farms.

Ogbogi called on the state government and the Federal Government to come to the aid of farmers so that their products would not be destroyed by flood and pests.

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