Floods Wash Out Farms, Raising Further Inflation Risk

Floods Wash Out Farms, Raising Further Inflation Risk

By Bashir Olanrewaju

Floods from Nigeria’s swollen rivers are washing out farms ahead of harvest, raising the spectre of hyperinflation amid already rising prices.

Many communities along the country’s two biggest rivers, the Niger and the Benue, have been submerged along with their farms, a situation made worse in the past week after neighbouring Cameroon opened sluice gates from an upstream dam into the Benue River.

The affected communities lining the two big rivers from the country’s south are also in Nigeria’s main food-growing region’s that produce staples such as rice, yam, potatoes, carrots, sorghum, millets, maize and cassava.

Rice farmers hit hard.

At least, 4,000 hectares out of a 13,000-hectare rice farm owned by commodities dealer, Olam International, were washed away by the floods, indicating the scale of the impact on food production.

All the states on the bank of the major rivers including Benue, Niger, Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Imo and Bayelsa were hit by the floods, with their most fertile farmlands affected.