Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has said that adequate provision has been made to enable rice farmers in the state produce one million metric tonnes of rice this dry season. Also, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has disclosed federal government’s plan to provide irrigation equipment to rice farmers in the state to enable them meet the target.
The duo spoke in Danchitagi in the Lavun Local Government Area while inspecting the rice farms cultivated under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme.
Expressing his administration’s determination to ensure federal government policy of self sustenance in rice production, Bello said 90,000 square kilometers of land was now available for cultivation in the state and stressed the need for a template on the technical specifications by the presidential committee.
The governor expressed satisfaction at the support from federal government and Central Bank of Nigeria CBN saying that that the scheme had created jobs for the youths in the state.
Ogbe, who commended the commitment of government and farmers in the state to the realisation of federal government policy on rice said that about N2 billion had been expended in the state through the CBN anchor borrowers program.
The minister promised the provision of irrigation facilities which would include, solar power water pumping machines, small rice milling facilities, threshers and combined harvesters to ease rice processing,
He disclosed that 1,700 of the over 2,000 rice farmers from 57 cooperative societies that had benefited from the program in the state were engaged in dry season farming while another 907 cotton farmers were to benefit from the scheme in the state.
Ogbeh expressed optimism that the country will soon be self- sufficient in Rice production which would bring down the price of the commodity in the open market.
Credit: All Africa