Kano Partners Fg To Increase Rice Production
SAN FRANCISCO, January 11, (THEWILL) – Kano State government has decided refocus on local rice production in support of the Federal Government's resolve to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production and to reduce over dependence on oil for revenue.
The State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, disclosed this while inspecting rice fields at Kadawa in Garun Malam Local Government Area of the state, and assured that agricultural extension services would be provided to the farmers to improve efficiency in all facets of agricultural activities across the rice value chain.
Ganduje also said that the government would link smallholder rice farmers to processors to ensure increased production and bridge the gap between production and consumption by raising the utilisation capacity of existing rice mills in the country.
“With the gradual decline in oil prices worldwide, our best option is to focus on agriculture, especially the production of wheat and rice so that we can create jobs and generate money to address development issues,” Ganduje said.
“Kano has vast agricultural potentials. Rice and Wheat are two crops that gives us comparative advantage which if properly harnessed will create wealth. Now is the time for us to attain economic greatness by investing in their production.”
To address the problem of finance facing the farmers, the governor recalled that the state government recently provided a guarantee of N1.5 billion for the successful implementation of the State Rice Development Project, stressing that high quality inputs and other implements would be provided to ensure success of the scheme.
The governor, who used the visit to launch sale of fertilizer to the farmers, urged them to take advantage of extension services being offered by the state agricultural agencies to improve their yields and mitigate risks.
“I have also directed KNARDA to post out all the over 700 extension workers so that they can advise and guide the farmers on how to get maximum yield, and that they should stay with the farmers in their areas but not to be shuttling from Kano to the villages daily thereby losing productive man hours,” he said.
The state governor also announced plans to eliminate middlemen and racketeers in the sale and distribution of fertilizer across the state as he inspected direct distribution of fertilizers to wheat farmers at Alkamawa in Bunkure Local Government Area.
The governor disclosed that part of the plans included taking actual census and data of farms to enable government ascertain specific inputs needed by individual farmers and agricultural cooperative societies.
He said the government had already ordered for the supply of about 5,000 water pumping machines to be distributed to irrigation farmers, directing the state agricultural agency, KNARDA to employ and train some inhabitants of Alkamawa to enable them train other farmers in the domain in view of its huge irrigation potential.
Earlier, Nasir Gawuna, commissioner of agriculture, urged farmers to embrace wheat farming, as the present administration was ready to support them to move speedily from subsistence to commercial agriculture.
Story by David Oputah