Rice farmers get N1.5 million starter packs in Enugu
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, on Thursday, distributed starter packs worth N1.5 million to 30 farmers in the South-East to increase rice production in the country.
Twenty-five kilogrammes of certified rice seeds of FARO 44 variety, three litres of 2,4-D post-emergence herbicide and two litres of liquid fertiliser went to each farmer.
The distribution of the materials took place at the ministry’s office in Enugu, with farmers from Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi, Abia and the host state in attendance.
In his opening address, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Abubakar, said the ministry is working towards making the nation self-sufficient in rice production and export.
Arthur Mbuba, the state director of FMARD, Anambra, who represented the minister, said the purpose of the intervention was to bolster rice production in all parts of the country.
“We are also producing and distributing flood-certified seeds of FARO 66 and 67 to farmers along the riverine areas to mitigate the effect of the flood as witnessed recently.
“The ministry provides farm equipment in form of tillers, transplanters, rice reapers, thrashers and other simple farm tools to smallholder farmers in different locations at subsidised rates.
“In continuation, the government decided to identify genuine rice farmers, Smallholder farmers in conjunction with state agricultural development projects (ADPs).
“Also, state ministries of agriculture, natural resources, Rice Farmers’ Associations and other relevant stakeholders in the value chain were identified for continued support to farmers in line with our mandate,” Mr Abubakar said.
Peter Nwaogor, the state coordinator from Enugu State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said FMARD was seriously working towards food security in the country.
“Government policy on rice production has been to generate massive employment, eliminate hunger and poverty in the communities,” he said.
Ayeleke Dauda of the Federal Department of Agriculture told farmers to utilise the opportunity created in their own interest.
Explaining good agricultural practices and effective use of agro-chemical in rice production, Mr Dauda said rice grows better in the dry season than rainy season.
Benjamin Puja, from FMARD South-East regional office, said the programme was a wonderful one and believed that a new Nigeria flowing with milk and honey is possible.
“This intervention will go a long way in re-positioning the farmers, and the new variety will improve production, good yields, capacity and food supply in the country,” said Linus Nkwuda, chairman of Abakaliki Rice Mill, Ebonyi.
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