FG begins dry season rice farming

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 From Evelyn Dadu, Abuja
THE FG begin dry season rice farming Federal Government has registered 178, 490 farmers to plant rice on 232, 609 hectres of land in 10 states under the dry season paddy rice production programme, which is part of efforts to attain self-sufficiency in rice production and end the importation of the commodity by 2015.
A statement signed by the Director Information in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Salisu Na’Inna stated the Minister of State for Agriculture, Bukar Tijani, who flagged-off the programme in Wammako, Sokoto State on Monday said that the farmers participating in the programme were registered in Kogi, Niger, Kano, Katsina, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi and Sokoto States.
The Minister said that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is desirous of weaning the country off imported rice and has approved incentives for the farmers in order to give the full encouragement in the dry season accelerated paddy rice production programme.
Representing Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, he said the incentives being provided farmers by the Federal Government include three bags of fertilisers subsidised at 50 percent, a 50 kilogramme bag of improved rice seeds, extension services on paddy rice production and a Guaranteed Minimum price for the commodity.
Bukar Tijani emphasised in an address at the occasion: “While 50 kilogrammes of improved rice seeds will be given free of charge to each farmer, the fertilisers will be provided at 50 percent subsidy that will be borne solely by the Federal Government.  However, states are at liberty to further subsidise the fertilisers for their farmers.”
A total of 6, 332 farmers have been registered to participate in the exercise in Sokoto State where they are expected to plant 41, 361 hectres of rice during the dry season.  They will receive 2, 068.5 metric tonnes of improved rice seeds and 6, 204.15 metric tons of assorted fertilisers.
The Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wammako commended the federal government for the initiative and announced that farmers in the state will always be willing to participate in such programmes designed to free our country from food importation.

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