Practical solutions to support rural farmers in Anambra State

Loss of farm produce by farmers is one of the numerous perennial problems caused by floods every year in Anambra state.

Community members, especially people living with disabilities and rural women farmers, are some of the most vulnerable groups that bear the burden of flood. Also, adolescents are affected when floods submerge their schools.

With the help of a radio programme ‘ECID Hour’ and other platforms, the ECID team brought together first-hand knowledge of farmers with government representatives to find lasting solutions that will improve the hardships the farmers face.

Residents of Anaku Community, Ayamelum Local Government Area (LGA) say there is an urgent need for government intervention to address the devastating aftermath of the flood. The farmers lose a lot of their farm produce such as rice, yam, cassava, vegetables and more.

Samuel Obiora, a resident who has suffered losses, says,

“Farmers in Anaku, have been losing a lot of their farm produce to the recurring flood almost every year and this is becoming part of every year life. We are appealing to the government and the appropriate authorities to come to our aid because our livelihood as an indigene of Anaku depends on farming, but the recurring flood is now making life difficult for us.”

Samuel Obiora
Flooded community building in Anambra State

Other community members from neighbouring locations shared their own plight about the flooding. Chinyere Okafor, a resident of Igbakwu in the same LGA said,

“As one of the communities affected during the flood period, we appeal to the appropriate bodies and organizations to kindly provide storage facilities for agricultural produce. Possibly alternative water channels to reduce the effects which has become a norm.”

Chinyere Okafor

In a press conference on flooding in Anambra, the ECID team members shared some mitigation strategies which included the building of “Upland Storage Facilities” for farmers in the riverine communities to store their produce.

This strategy was then taken to the Anambra State Commissioner for Agriculture, Honourable Nnamdi Onukwuba, by the ECID team on behalf farming communities. During the visit, the Commissioner made a commitment to respond to the request to construct the Upland Storage Facilities.

“We welcome your proposals and would want to start with the provision of Farmers’ Upland Storage Facilities for preserving riverine community farmers’ farm produce during flooding in order to minimize the rate of farm produce damages and its adverse effects to rural farmers. I urge you to develop a brief in this regard and submit it through my office Desk Officer for Budget and Economic Planning for inclusion in the 2021 budget.’

Commissioner Onukwaba

In a related development, the project team collaborated with the Anambra State Ministry of Agriculture to reach out to rural community farmers to be registered in the Ministry’s Control Centre. Registration forms were given to the farmers to fill and return for submission. This is following reports from farmers that they were unable to access the existing system to register for farming subsidies.

The ECID team and partners are providing continuous support to the communities to keep the momentum for advocacy visits to ensure the storage facility is provided.       

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