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Nigeria: New Rice Scheme to Engage 1000 Women, Youths

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Over 1000 Farmers (women and youths) are expected to benefit from a new rice initiative (wet season) aimed at boosting rice production in the country post-pandemic.

The Project Coordinator of Fevick Resources, Mr Samuel Oluwafemi Adeshina, said by the time the rice programme kicks off, it would empower clusters of women and youths agripreneur farming together on contiguous arable farmland to produce high quality and quantity of rice paddy for processing during this year’s wet season farming in Nigeria.

Adeshina, who addressed a press briefing in Abuja recently, stated that the new wet season rice farming project would link farmers to new technologies and high yield seedlings.

He noted that the new rice planting initiative would create employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for 1,000 women and youths in the pilot phase.

“They will 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. We can derive six to seven metric tonnes of rice per hectare by introducing new varieties of very high yielding seedlings,” Adesina said.

He added that this variety of rice seedlings will be tested to determine the ruggedness, virility and flood resistance of the variety that was developed to see how the new variant of rice will survive in submerged areas during serious floods and ozone depletion.

According to him, the Taraba State Government is hosting the pilot programme and the farmers under Fevick Resources’ supervision would have three layers of credit open to them.

“There is the direct fertilizer aspect, which will give the farmers NPK and urea (fertilizer), there is also 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 as this will cover land preparation, harvesting, threshing and aggregation,” he said.

He further stated that the project would create strong and effective linkages to quality agro-inputs and services including mechanisation, credits, insurance, technology, information, and market for rural farmers to improve their livelihoods and build sustainable agriculture.

In his words: “Participants will be selected and clustered as a registered geo-cooperative having its own corporate governance structure on contiguous farmland. They will be ultimately responsible for supervising, managing their respective plots as well as working together as a geo-cooperative.”

He however added that agriprenuers and farming communities would be trained on improved rice growing techniques with an emphasis on selection of rice seeds varieties, optimal water usage, fertilisation, plant protection and post-harvesting, stressing that the training will cover the development of leadership, business, entrepreneurial and technical skills covering farm machinery and irrigation.

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 of Taraba State, Mr Darius Dickson Ishaku, to ensure that the required inputs and credit get to the farmers on time to achieve the desired result.

On his part, Mr Gamboro Zanvali, Nyaa Donga, said: “If an organisation or government brings such loans to our farmers it gives them an opportunity to go and farm. If you go to the farms now you will see how people are rushing to their farms because of the loans they collected, the input Fevick Resources has given to them. They are all looking for places to plant the seedlings the company has brought to them because we don’t have such seedlings here in our community.”

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