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Friday, March 09, 2018

Anambra Govt. Sets To Achieve Production Of 600,000 Metric Tons Of Rice In 2018

Anambra State Government has established rice seed multiplication centres at Umumbo community in Ayamelum Local Government Area to boost rice production in the state.

Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanisation, Processing and Export, Mr Afam Mbanefo disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Awka.

Mbanefo said the rice seed multiplication centres would enable the state to drive its rice revolution agenda which began in 2017 as the state had developed four irrigation projects at Ezira, Omasi, Ihiala and Omor with a view to ensuring all-round-season of farming in the state.

He explained that other irrigation in addition to 11 major roads leading to various agrarian communities was being constructed as irrigation projects were being executed under FADAMA three, with a Central Pivot System and a sprinkler with the capacity to irrigate 100 hectares of land to support dry season farming.

According to Mbanefo, the land would be provided by the communities while the ministry would provide facilities like farm house, inputs, and security personnel, saying the project would benefit the community when fully implemented as employment opportunities would be created for youths as well as other social and economic benefits.

He reiterated that the government was determined to achieve its target of 600,000 metric tons of rice in 2018 with its efforts at supporting dry season farming across the state.

Mbanefo said Anambra was producing 350, 000 metric tons of rice exceeding its 320, 000 metric tons consumption capacity.

The commissioner said the feat was based on the innovation which had been introduced in the rice production business in the state by Governor Willie Obiano’s administration.

According to him, Obiano had set up a special advisory agency on mechanised farming to ensure that farmers in the state kept pace with latest technological advancements in the agricultural sector.

He disclosed that an agreement had been reached with Spanish engineers that constructed the facilities to operate and maintain it for one year, during which local operators would be trained to take over.

Mbanefo disclosed that with the support of the state government, over 6,000 farmers had already been assisted under the programme to embrace mechanised farming while 300 young graduates were also empowered to become farmers.

The commissioner said that with efforts channeled towards agriculture in the state farmers would now engage in dry season farming.

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