In the renewed effort to encourage massive rice production in Niger State, the state government is to expend N34 billion in its rice multiplication programme over three years.
In this regard, the state has acquired over 100,000 hectares for the rice multiplication programme aimed at engaging over 50,000 rice farmers with an average of 2,000 hectares each.
Commissioner of Agriculture Alhaji Abdullahi Kwotu, represented by the Permanent Secretary Alhaji Mohammed Zakari Abubakar gave the details of the government plan in this direction to journalists yesterday in Minna.
He said the state government was set to increase rice production in the state from the present 500,000 metric tonnes to one million metric tonnes and that N8 billion of the N34 billion would be expended in this fiscal year for the purpose.
According to him the state government would deploy 25 tractors to a tractor hiring unit, to be accessed by the farmers at subsidized rate.
The commissioner also said the government had put modalities in motion to supply farmers with improved seedlings and other agro chemical to further boost their production capacity.
He said that government would also involve unemployed youths who have been assured of 6,000 hectares of land for farming in the rice multiplication programme just as the administration will also partner with the federal government in the latter's own rice programme.
The commissioner said that the state government was poised to make the state the highest rice producing state in the country, with the attendant benefit of generating employment and income for the state as well as the farmers.