10 January 2013

Nigeria: FG to Facilitate Production of 1.3 Million Tonnes of Rice Through Dry Season Farming

The federal government is to facilitate the production of 1.3 million tonnes of rice through dry season farming this year, an official has said.

Mr Daniel Kakwi, the Director, Field Station, in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, disclosed this in Jos yesterday.

Kakwi said that the feat would be acheived through the Flood Recovery, Food Production and Expanded Dry Season Farming Programmes. He explained that the Flood Recovery Food Production Plan, with a target to produce 880,000 tonnes of rice, would be complemented with the Expanded Dry Season Food Production. "The two programmes will produce a total of 1.3 million tonnes of rice," he said adding that the federal government had procured more than 14,300 tonnes of rice seed currently being distributed to farmers across the country for dry season farming. "We have mobilised from within and outside Nigeria more than 14,300 tonnes of rice seed. That is enough to plant 300,000 hectares of rice farm lands. If properly utilised, we shall produce 1.2 million tonnes of rice grains, plus an additional 420,000 tonnes to be produced in the northwestern part of the country."

He added that 500,000 tonnes of maize grains would also be produced under the dry season farming programme.

Kakwi also said that as part of the flood recovery food production initiative, the ministry has commenced the distribution of 5,000 pumps to farmers for dry season farming.

He said that the 2012 floods that destroyed farm lands and washed away crops was a wake-up call to the government to take adequate measures to mitigate the impact of climate change. (NAN)

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