In a seeming bid to boost rice production and self-sufficiency in the commodity, the Buhari administration has availed rice farmers in Kano State early maturing seeds.
This is in addition to no less than 40 smallholder farmers in the state who have received inputs from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) to improve the livestock value chain.
The initiative is part of the responses of the ministry to the negative effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on farmers and the country’s economy in general.
From each geopolitical zone in Nigeria, six states were selected to participate in the programme. The beneficiaries received a pair of goats, 50kg bag of feed and transport allowances.
The Kano programme, which includes a two-day training and subsequent empowerment of farmers, was anchored by the Director of the Federal Department of Agricultural Extension, represented by his Deputy, Muhammed Bashir Abdulkadir, through the Kano Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA).
Addressing the beneficiaries, the state Director Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abba Gana Yamani, urged participants to seize the numerous opportunities in the livestock value chain for economic growth and job creation.
He added that the ministry was not only committed to supporting farmers but also promoting their livelihoods.
Abba recalled that the ministry recently distributed inputs to several farmers in the rice and tomato value chain in the state. This, he said, is part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts to diversify the country’s economy through the empowerment of smallholder farmers including women.
He also cited some major ongoing and completed projects in the state such as the construction of over 30 asphaltic roads, construction of over 1500 boreholes, construction of 4 mini-water treatment plants and the fixing of over 3500 solar-powered street lights.
On their part, the beneficiaries lauded the resolve of the Buhari administration to revive the agricultural sector through various reforms and policies aimed at the rapid transformation in food and nutritional security; job creation; import substitution and economic diversification.
While expressing their happiness, the beneficiaries who were mostly housewives, promised to turn in trip of goats in the near future.
The ministry however, made the distribution to 800 men and women rice farmers on in the state. During the exercise, Yamani emphasised the need to make good use of the improved rice seeds for increased yield as well as quantitative and timely harvest.
The ministry trained and empowered smallholders on livestock production and also distributed farm inputs to rice and tomato farmers recently in Kano. The development, Yamani stated, was an affirmation of the Nanono-led administration’s focus on achieving food and nutrition security for the nation.
The director also reassured farmers of the government’s commitment to provide jobs and create wealth for the nation through the instrumentality of agricultural technologies.
All items distributed are free and not for sale, Yamani cautioned.
Beneficiaries appreciated the supportive efforts of the agric minister and therefore pledged to make ‘Nigeria great’ by growing rice to feed the country and for export.