Following a sharp fall in the supply of essential food items in North-eastern states, particularly Yobe and Borno states where attacks by Boko Haram insurgents have crippled the federal government’s irrigation project and food production at the Lake Chad Basin, the federal government has ordered the release of rice and grain from the strategic reserve to the North-east to help curb food crisis in the region.
A source within the Federal Government disclosed this, alerting that the food price has increased by over one hundred per cent.
“The federal government sent several trucks loaded with bags of rice to the affected states during the Sallah celebrations,” the source added.
It was gathered that apart from the grounding of government irrigation and food production activities, most farmers have abandoned the several hectares of arable land prepared for the cultivation of rice and other grains in Borno State for fear of being attacked by the Boko Haram insurgents.
“I can tell you that virtually all the farmers involved in rice cultivation and other agriculture-related activities have abandoned the vast expanse of land at the Chad Basin because of the activities of the insurgents.
“The land which was very fertile because of the massive irrigation had caked up to four inches, making it impossible for farming activities,” the source said further.
Confirming the development on Thursday, director of defence information, Brig-Gen. Chris Olukolade, while speaking on the gains of the declaration of emergency rule in a speech titled, State of Emergency – Half Way Through, Olukolade noted that even though a lot of successes have been recorded with socio-economic and commercial activities restored back, that of Chad Basin is yet to pick up.
“The Chad Basin Authority, as you can see, nothing is going on there since the insurgency. The economy has been grounded to a halt, the farmers have abandoned their farmlands,” he said.