Some farmers in Kwara have called on government at all levels to provide insurance cover for their farms to cushipn losses caused by natural and man-made disasters.
They also urged the government to be proactive towards flood prevention as the rainy season peaks.
It was said in Ilorin recently that there was need for training and retraining of farmers on flood prevention and control measures.
The farmers also called for timely weather forecast and information as well as updates on technological innovations in order to prevent farmland flooding.
Mr Gbenga Adefemi, a vegetable farmer, said, “vegetables need water constantly, but they do not need too much because of their roots.
“There is hardly any year that we do not experience flooding and our plants are destroyed. I have done all that I know how to do, but when the rain is very heavy, all I can do is pray. If the government can do a training and retraining every year for farmers, especially we the vegetable farmers, on how to prevent flooding and destruction of vegetables, it will go a long way in helping us avoid losses”.
Mrs Feyisayo Abdullah, a poultry farmer, added that we know the rain is natural gift we humans pray for, but it saddens the heart when it destroys our works.
“Some years ago flood waters swept away my poultry farm and killed hundreds of the chickens; it was a terrible loss. For me, it taught me a lesson on simple environmental protection, now what I do is to create a flood waterway and ensure there is no obstruction to the free flow of water. This is what every farmer should know and practice. I will also task the government on insurance scheme for farmers. I am not sure if it exists, but if it does, the government should make it accessible to us. Farming is a risk and as much as we want to take the risk, we also want protection”.
A pumpkin leaves (Ugwu) farmer, Mrs Elizabeth Ekemini, said: “Rain water hardly affects my farm except when there is a storm or strong wins because I try as much as possible to prevent flooding.
“Also ugwu is planted in stacks, but sometimes the stagnant water in the farm may not allow us access to the farmland. I urge all farmers to find what methods best fits their farm for flood prevention. Government should also teach us how we can prevent it because honestly we are trying, but sometimes it just will not work”.