The Federal and Niger State Government respectively have given 50 kilogrammes of improved rice seeds and three bags of fertiliser as incentives to dry season farmers in Niger state.
In a statement to Leadership yesterday, by the Director Information, Salisu Na’inna Dambatta it revealed that the package was jointly unfolded by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Bukar Tijani for the Federal Government’s and the Chief Servant of Niger State, Dr. Mu’ ázu Babangida Aliyu at the rolling out of agro-inputs to farmers for accelerated dry season rice production at MajinGari, Lavun Local Government Area of Niger State on Tuesday.
The statement asserted that, “While the Federal Government subsidised the cost of three bags of fertiliser by 50% and gave a 50-kg bag of improved rice seeds free of charge to the farmers, the Niger State government will pay the balance of 50 % cost of the three bags of fertiliser for each of the 2,000 farmers who were registered to participate in the programme.”
The minister in a speech, said that the intensified rice production programme in the dry season was initiated by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production, curb the importation of foreign rice, and create jobs for farmers, rice millers and marketers in the country.
“The rice seeds given to you is of caroline long grain which can compete favourably with the rice imported from anywhere in the world,” he said, adding that, “the Federal Government will establish three additional rice processing mills in the state, while calling on Nigerians to be patriotic by growing, processing and consuming rice locally instead of importing foreign rice”.