Seasonably dry conditions prevail. Planting
of the first maize crop is expected to start in March in the south.
The overall food supply situation is satisfactory. However, due to heavy rain, three hydroelectric dams released water in the Kaduna, Benue and Niger rivers in early October, causing flooding of villages located along the river banks and population displacements. The Nigerian Government estimates that about 300 000 people have been affected by the flooding, and that several thousand hectares have been flooded in 5 States (Sokoto, Adamwara, Borno, Kwara and mostly Niger State). Most displaced people have lost homes and most of their crop fields, and have temporarily settled on higher ground. About 6 000 hectares of sugar cane plantation, expected to produce about 25 000 tonnes of sugar, have been flooded in central region. The south-eastern Bayelsa State and five districts in the Niger Delta (in the municipalities of Patani, Oshimili South, Ndokwa East, Burutu and Bomadi) have also been affected by floods. Rising waters in Lake Chad have also left an estimated 25 000 people homeless in northern Nigeria. The government has approved in late 1999 the purchase of 55 000 tonnes of local grains as part of the country's strategic food reserve.
The government decided on 11 February to remove import duties and value-added tax on all agricultural inputs, including fertilizer. The government would no longer be involved in the importation and distribution of fertilizer.