Taraba State is to host the wet season rice planting programme, which is designed to create employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for 1,000 women and youths in the pilot phase.
The initiative will create strong and effective linkages to quality agro-input and services, including mechanisation, credit, insurance, technology, information, and market for rural farmers to improve their livelihoods and build sustainable agriculture.
It will be a sustainable rice transformational programme which empowers clusters of women and youth agripreneurs farming together on a contiguous arable farmland to produce high quality and quantity of paddy rice for processing during the wet season farming.
The farmers are to produce high quality and quantity of paddy rice for processors to get high milling outturn which will increase the profit margin of the women and youths.
Project Coordinator, Fevick Resources, Samuel Oluwafemi Adeshina told journalists in Abuja, Tuesday that the new wet season rice farming project will link farmers to new technologies and high yield seedlings.
Adeshina said: "We can derive six to seven metric tonns of rice per hectares by introducing new varieties of very high yielding seedlings."
According to him, this variety of rice seedlings will be tested to determine the ruggedness, virility and flood resistance to see how they will survive in submerged areas during serious flood and ozone depletion.
Taraba state is hosting the pilot programme and the farmers under Fevick Resource supervision will have three layers of credit open to them.
This includes the direct fertiliser aspect which will give the farmers NPK and UREA. There is also the the seeds variety Faro 66 and 67.
The third part of the credit to the farmers is the Crop Protection Product (CPP) which is the aspect that covers labour and services.
This, according to Adeshina, will cover land preparation, harvesting, threshing and aggregation.
Adesina disclosed that participants will be selected and clustered as a registered geo-cooperative, having its own corporate governance structure on contiguous farmland, adding that they will be ultimately be responsible for supervising and managing their respective plots as well as working together as a geo-cooperative.
He explained that agriprenuers and farming communities will be trained on improved rice growing techniques with emphasis on selection of rice seeds varieties, optimal water usage, fertilisation, plant protection and post-harvesting.
In his remarks, Chief Binuga Gargea, the Gargea Donga said: "The project has gingered our farmers to be up and doing, to embrace the programme and take to rice production so that they will not be idle in the wet season farming and they will equally be busy during the dry season farming too and that will actually fill their pockets".
He called on the governor, Mr. Darius Dickson Ishaku to ensure that the required input and credit get to the farmers on time to achieve the desired result.