President Muhammadu Buhari has lamented floods that occurred in Kebbi state which claimed lives and destroyed thousands of hectares of rice farms and houses in Kebbi state, saying they are a setback to efforts at boosting food production.

Recall that the Commissioner for agriculture in Kebbi state, Attahiru Maccido on Sunday said over N1 billion worth of rice and other farm produce were lost in the floods which hit different parts of the state.

Buhari in a statement released on Wednesday sympathized with the state government and said the destruction of the rice farms came at a time farmers were looking forward to a bumper harvest.

“I am particularly sad over this incident because it’s a setback to our efforts to boost local rice production as part of measures to stop food importation,” Buhari said.

“Kebbi State is the focal point of our policy to produce rice locally as part of this administration’s commitment to agricultural revival which suffered relative neglect in favour of food importation.

“With the loss of six lives and still counting, thousands of hectares of land flooded and estimated economic losses of more than one billion Naira by rice farmers in Kebbi State, we face a major setback in our efforts to boost local food production.”

“This bad news couldn’t have come at a worse time for our farmers and other Nigerians who looked forward to a bumper harvest this year in order to reduce the current astronomical rise in the costs of food items in the markets.”

Condoling with the bereaved families and farmers affected by the floods, the president said he will work closely with the Kebbi state government in order to bring relief to the victims.