— Victims seek govt intervention
An estimated sum of the N100m Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurship Programme (YAGEP) farms were yesterday destroyed by heavy down pour of flood in Ndokwa West Local Government area of Delta state.
It was reliably gathered that the farms were encased in pool of water that blighted the prospect of bumper harvest, and potentially created massive loss in projected revenue of N100 million.
Expectedly, the farms, cluster undertaking, belong to trainees of the state government’s Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurship Programme (YAGEP) a core element of the wealth and job creation package of the state government.
Investigation revealed that 37 farmers are in the cluster and each of them has minimum of two hectares each, but the frequent heavy precipitation in the area, has damaged the enthusiasm of the young commercial farmers who under the 2016 cycle of the YAGEP training programme were trained, and killed by the state government with fund and other farms implements for support to begin a life-long venture into commercial farming in the state.
This is happening after agents of the state government had visited the farm, and on the basis of what they said had left with the now lost hope of a reasonable harvest.
Further investigation revealed that more than three quarters of the farms were swallowed by the flood which also swept away several vehicles in the areas in the early hours.
One of the farmers, Agumah Gbafayador who spoke to our reporter, lamented that the unexpected heavy flooding had comprehensively overwhelmed other viable farms, and totally compromised their expected earnings.
Gbafayador, a Patani born Geology graduate of the Niger Delta University (NDU) Bayelsa State, put the loss at more that 90per cent of total expected returns, expressing regrets that it was a sad second personal experience for him after he claimed to have lost his viable maize farm to the same natural disaster.
Gbafayador held that in spite of the huge negative effects of the following and its associated massive loss for the farmers, many like him had resolved to stick to their new found engagement of viable commercial farming.
The 37 YAGEP farmers, one in growing generation of such YAGEPreneurs, as they are called, were trained by officials of Raymos Guanah Farms Limited, one of the largest commercial rice groups in the state.