Kebbi rice farmers sign agreement with Chinese firm on manpower training

By The Citizen
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The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in northwest Kebbi State on Wednesday said it had signed an agreement with a Chinese firm to train farmers in the state on new methods of rice cultivation.

An official of the association, Alhaji Sahabi Augi, said in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital, that the firm, Chinese Green Agriculture for West Africa, had already established a branch at Ngaski Local Government Area in the state.

“This is in line with the transformation agenda of the Federal Government, which plans to ban the importation of rice in 2015.

“With the vast land and human resources, we can be able to feed ourselves and export the commodity,” he said.

He said the partnership would focus on breeding new variety of rice and innovations, which included seeds multiplication, processing and marketing.

He said the agreement would also help to establish hybrid multiplication system, modern seed processing and storage system, standardisation of seed quality and inspection system.

The farmer said the training, which started in Ngaski Local Government Area, would cover the state in the next two years.

He said many rice farmers were cultivating rice in Argungu under the supervision of the company.

He said the methodology assisted the farmers to increase their yield during harvest, thereby enhancing their economic status.

He called on the farmers to embrace the new method of cultivation to enhance their output.

He commended the federal government for the timely distribution of improve rice seeds, fertilizer and chemicals to the farmers.