Abuja - Thousands of rice farmers in Edo State are poised to benefit from government initiatives to assist farmers during the dry season.
Wellington Omorgbon, Director of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the initiative was to ensure the nation’s self-sufficiency in food, especially rice, at all times.
Speaking in Benin City, he said the 5 000 farmers were selected from Edo North and Edo Central.
According to him, each of the farmers was expected to cultivate one hectare of rice, amounting to 5 000 hectares.
He said that the farmers were expected to harvest 20 000 metric tonnes of the crop at the end of the season.
Omorgbon said the farmers would get free rice seeds and agro-chemicals at a cost subsidised by half.
“In addition, one threshing machine and a reaper have been allocated to the farmers at a 25 percent subsidised cost,” he said.
The government official added that the idea was to encourage farmers to work together.
“The essence of all this is to make the nation self-sufficient in food production and eradicate poverty,” he added.
It is estimated that Nigeria spends about N360 billion annually to import rice in order to cater for local demand.
– CAJ News