March 31, 2017 ( by World Stage )
WorldStage Newsonline-- The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced plans to procure 200 rice milling machines for farmers across the country.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Audu Ogbe told journalists during the FG/IFAD Assisted Value Chain Development Programme Learning Route tagged 'Maximize Dry Season production and Innovative Tools for Value Chain' at the Kanko Rice Production Cluster in Wushishi Local Government of Niger state that the initiative would boost production of rice and ensure high quality of rice in the country.
Represented by his Senior Adviser International Donor Partners, Mr. Appeh Auta, he expressed firm belief that with the concerted efforts being made by both federal and state governments, the nation would achieve self-sufficiency, in food production.
In his address, the National Coordinator International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), Dr. Ameh Onoja said N6 billion has been earmarked for rice production in the country adding that Nigeria has scaled up its rice production capacity to over 400 million metric tonnes through collective efforts of the Federal Government, IFAD/ Value Chain Development Programme and CBN Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
Onoja said this was achieved through the combined effort of 12 rice producing states that has currently positioned Nigeria as the second world largest producer of rice stressing that if states embrace dry season farming, importation of the comodity would be a thing of the past.
He commended Niger state Government for paying the sum of N63.5m as part of its counterfund funding for the IFAD programme.
" Every state under the programme is suppose to counterfund the IFAD programme with N1 billion and I want to commend Niger state Government paying part of its own to the tune of N63.5 million."
The Niger State IFAD Programme Coordinator, Dr. Mathew Ahmad said the purpose of the six states coming together under the IFAD programme was to allow for cross fertilization of ideas to enhance rice production in the country.
He explained that 300 hectares of rice had been cultivated by rice farmers in Kanko adding that last year, Niger produced 15, 000 metric tonnes of paddy rice, even as production is expected to increase to 25, 000 tonnes in 2017.