Monday , 19 November 2018
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Nigeria will be world’s 2nd largest rice importer in 2019

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has projected that Nigeria will be the world second largest rice buyer in 2019.

China is predicted to be the world’s largest buyer.

“On an annual basis, consumption and residual use is projected higher in 2018/19 in Angola, Benin, Burkina-Faso, Cambodia, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam,” the department said in its latest Rice Outlook released on Tuesday.

“China and Nigeria are projected to remain the largest rice importing countries in 2019, followed by the EU, Cote d’Ivoire, and Iran.

“Nigeria and Egypt are projected to account for the bulk of the 2019 import increase. Imports in 2019 are also projected to be larger than a year earlier for Benin, Burkina, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, EU, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Malaysia, Mali, Senegal, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

“Global rice consumption (including a residual component) in 2018/19 is projected at a record 488.4 million tons, down 0.1 million tons from the previous forecast but up more than 1 percent from a year earlier.”

Audu Ogbeh, the minister of agriculture and rural development,  had earlier warned that the country may experience rice shortage if appropriate measures are not taken to replant after the recent flood.

States like Jigawa, Kebbi, Anambra and Kogi had experienced floods that resulted in farming losses.

The Buhari-led administration had said it would end dependence on imported rice and the Central Bank of Nigeria supported the move by restricting forex for rice importation and the Anchor Borrowers Programme.

1,110 dead as cholera ravages 29 states in Nigeria – NCDC

Nigeria has recorded 1,110 deaths this year from cholera outbreaks in 29 states across Nigeria as the disease claims more lives in more parts of the country.

The death figure this year is several times higher than the 84 recorded within the corresponding period in 2017, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed in its weekly epidemiological report.

The report for week 43 showed that 48,686 suspected cholera cases were recorded between weeks 1 and 43 of 2018, with 829 laboratory confirmed from 239 local government areas in the 29 states.

In 2017, cholera outbreaks within weeks 1 to 43 recorded 3642 suspected cases and 84 deaths from 70 local government areas in 19 states.

Eight states most hit in the current outbreaks are Adamawa, Borno, Katsina, Yobe, Zamfara, Bauchi Kano and Gombe.

In week 43 alone, 454 suspected cases with two laboratory confirmed and 30 deaths (CFR, 6.6 per cent) were reported from 29 local governments in the eight states.

These are Adamawa 106, Bauchi 5, Borno 197, Gombe 7, Kano 4, Katsina 22, Yobe 76 and Zamfara 37.

This is also significantly higher than was recorded in 2017. In 2017, 108 suspected cases and three deaths were reported from six local governments in four states during the same period.

The situation report from Yobe as reported by Reliefweb shows that suspected cholera cases were 1,777 with 61 associated deaths.

In the state, 584 cases were reported in Gulani LGA, 485 in Gujba LGA and 460 in Damaturu LGA. Fune LGA reported 181 cases, while 67 cases were reported in Potiskum LGA.

Out of 112 samples collected and tested using cholera RDTs, 97 (86.6 per cent) were positive and 15 (14 per cent) negative. Again, nine (47 per cent) out of 19 samples cultured were positive for Vibrio Cholerae. However, when the nine positive samples were taken to national reference laboratory for quality checks and further analysis samples, Vibrio Cholerae O1 (Inaba) serotype was isolated in four of the samples.

In Borno State, the situation report as at November 9 showed suspected cholera cases stand at 5,897 with 73 associated deaths.

The breakdown is 2291 in Jere, 1,409 in MMC, 340 in Magumeri, 34 in Kaga, 165 in Konduga, 136 in Chibok, 11 in Shani, 42 in Damboa, 1052 in Ngala, 91 in Askira-Uba, 161 in Kwaya-Kusar, 56 in Bama, 57 in Dikwa and 52 in Guzamala LGAs.

No additional case was reported from Magumeri, Konduga, Ngala, Askira/Uba, Kaga, Chibok, Dikwa, Shani, Damboa, Kwaya-Kusar and Bama LGAs.

Most of the towns affected in the Northeast states are ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency which started in 2009.

Though cholera outbreak is not new in Nigeria, record shows the outbreak this year is on the high side.

According to AFP, the Norwegian Refugee Council said most of the people affected in the Northeastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe were affected by the ongoing insurgency in the area.

The Boko Haram violence has forced tens of thousands of people to seek refuge in crowded camps with many of them affected by the fast spreading cholera outbreak.

“One of the major causes of the outbreak is the congestion in the camps that makes it difficult to provide adequate water, sanitation and hygiene services,” said Janet Cherono, the NRC’s programme manager in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State.

“The rainy season has also worsened the conditions. If more land is not urgently provided for camp decongestion and construction of health and sanitation facilities, Nigeria is steering towards yet another cholera outbreak in 2019.”

In response to the ongoing outbreak, NCDC said it has activated a national emergency operation centre for cholera at level 2.

“Rapid response team has also been deployed to respond to recent cluster of cases in Kano, Bauchi, Plateau, Zamfara, Adamawa and Kastina”.

The agency, however, said there has been a decline in number of new cases reported.