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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

FG declares ginger blight epidemic crisis in Nigeria, losses exceed N12bn

Taskforce Inaugurated to Combat Devastating Fungal Disease

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has officially declared an outbreak of ginger blight epidemic across four states, resulting in staggering losses exceeding N12 billion for ginger farmers. This announcement was made during the inauguration of the National Ginger Blight Epidemic Control Taskforce in Abuja, where officials revealed the widespread impact of the fungal disease on ginger farms in Kaduna, Nassarawa, Plateau, and the Federal Capital Territory.

Addressing the severity of the crisis, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Aliyu Abdullahi, emphasized the devastating financial toll inflicted on farmers and Nigeria’s status as the world’s second-largest ginger producer. Preliminary estimates indicate that farmers in southern Kaduna alone have incurred losses surpassing N12 billion, with a significant portion of cultivated land suffering damage exceeding 70 percent.

In response to the crisis, Abdullahi announced the government’s commitment to providing relief to affected farmers through the launch of a N1.6 billion recovery package. This initiative, facilitated by the National Agricultural Development Fund, aims to alleviate the economic burden and restore stability to ginger-producing regions.

The ginger blight epidemic underscores the critical need for proactive measures to safeguard agricultural resources and ensure long-term sustainability. Abdullahi emphasized the importance of investing in research, extension services, and robust support systems for farmers to mitigate future risks and foster resilience within the agricultural sector.

Chairman of the task force committee, Abubakar Abdullahi, echoed these sentiments, highlighting the detrimental impact of the blight on Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product from ginger production. He stressed the urgency of deploying subcommittees to address the crisis effectively, underscoring the task force’s commitment to mitigating the epidemic’s effects.

As Nigeria grapples with the ginger blight epidemic, the inauguration of the National Ginger Blight Epidemic Control Taskforce signals a concerted effort to confront the crisis head-on. With a focus on collaboration, innovation, and swift action, authorities are poised to address the immediate challenges and pave the way for recovery and resilience within the ginger farming sector.

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