Govt distributes free seeds, fertiliser to rice farmers

IN the drive to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production in the country, the Federal Government, in collaboration with Niger State government, has commenced the distribution of seeds and fertiliser to rice farmers in the state, for dry season farming.

Distributing 50 kilogramme of improved rice seeds and three bags of fertilisers to farmers in the state, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Bukar Tijani at Majin Gari, Lavun Local Government Area of Niger State, said the incentive was distributed to the farmers free of charge to accelerate dry season farming

The package was jointly unfolded by the minister of state and the Governor of the state, Dr. Mu’ ázu Babangida Aliyu, wherein the Federal Government subsidised the cost of three bags of fertilisers by 50 per cent and 50-kg bag of improved rice seeds, the Niger State government will pay the balance of 50 per cent cost of the three bags of fertilisers for each of the 2,000 farmers, who were registered to participate in the programme.

The minister of state in his remarks said that the intensified rice production programme in the dry season was initiated by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan in order 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,” Tijani said.

The minister assured that the Federal Government will establish three additional rice processing mills in the state, urging Nigerians to be patriotic by growing, processing and consuming rice locally instead of importing foreign rice.

He commended the Niger State governor for his commitment to the programme in particular and the promotion of agriculture in general.