A rainstorm which occurred in Panyam on Monday,has washed away 100 hectares of rice farms, worth millions of naira, at Panyam village in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau, affecting more than 150 farmers.
One of the farmers, Rev. Joshua Dayong, said: “I don’t know where to start from after this unfortunate and devastating incident, which has rendered all my efforts void and worthless.
“Some of us have invested a lot of capital in rice farming, in line with calls from the Federal Government on Nigerians to invest in agriculture, as part of its economic diversification programme.
“But what do we have at the end? Wailing, discouragement and despair for what has befallen us, just when we were about to harvest our produce and smile.’’
Another victim, Mr Luka Zugumnaan, said: “I don’t know why this kind of misfortune happened to me at this time. How to cater for my family and what to do in the next farming season are my major concerns now.’’
He said that all the farms affected by the downpour could have produced over 300 bags of rice for the farmers, while fetching them nothing less than N4 million.
However, Chief Aminu Derwam, the District Head of Panyam, urged the victims to take solace in God and consider the incident as an act of God.
“I am so worried and pained that this happened to my beloved subjects who are trying to make a living through farming, only to face disappointment at the end,’’ he said.
Derwam called on the federal, state and local governments to come to the aid of the affected farmers so as to cushion the effects of the losses they had suffered.
Mr Danjuma Haruna, the Chairman of Mangu Local Government Council, who visited the affected farmlands on Tuesday, bemoaned the extent of the devastation at the farms.
Describing the incident as saddening and unfortunate, Haruna advised the farmers to take solace in God who could only explain why the incident occurred.
He, nonetheless, pledged the readiness of the council to assist the farmers in order to cushion the effect of their losses.