Ginger Farming in Nigeria

Ginger Farming

 

 

What do you know about ginger farming in Nigeria? We sure know that ginger can be consumed as medicine, a delicacy or spice. The medicinal value of this great ancient spice is widely recognized across the world.

Nigeria is one of the top producing countries of Ginger in the world. Locally, ginger is well known and it is in high demand despite being expensive. Kaduna is the highest producer of the crop followed by Gombe, Bauchi, Benue, Nassarawa as major producers. Ginger is widely available in various forms; fresh ginger rhizome, powder ginger, and dry ginger rhizome.

Growing Ginger

For Ginger farming to improve, the following is required,

  • Mulched fertile soil. Loam is the most preferred soil type.
  • Ridges must be made in order to plant the crop.
  • A minimum of 1500mm of annual rainfall is needed.
  • An average daily temperature of about 30 degrees centigrade.
  • Viable ginger rhizomes with buds
  • Good drainage to prevent water logging/ Flooding.

Cultivation

Ginger requires the right kind of nutrients to sustain its growth and maximum yield, especially in the humid environment.  Ginger is cultivated vegetatively from its rhizomes. The vegetative propagation of ginger involves the following steps;

Step One: Land Preparation and Manuring

Get the land well prepared. If the land is being used for continuous cropping, then organic manure or compost manure should be broadcasted in the farm continuously so as to enrich the soil.

Ensure to evenly distribute the manure and allow rain to fall on it for the first time. Once this has happened, go on to the next step immediately.

Step Two: Planting.

Start planting immediately in columns or in rows in order to make harvesting very easy.  You can also use organic or inorganic fertilizers can be used. Compost manure is better. In Nigeria, when growing ginger, it is better to use N.P.K 15:15:15 which is applied twice. The  First application is twenty days after planting at a rate of 4 bags per hectare. The second application is about 40 days after the first application at the rate of 2 bags per hectare.

Step Three: Insulation.

In this third stage, the whole hectare of land is covered with grasses. It is worthy of note that grasses that produce weeds are not to be used. Elephant grass is a perfect material for this purpose.  Insulation is done to prevent direct sunlight from reaching the seed. If sunlight reaches the seed, they will dry up inside the ground,  leading to no germination. Once the whole area has been insulated, it will be left for about two to three weeks for the seed to germinate.

Step Four: Weeding.

The next step is weeding which is done by hand. Using machetes or cutlasses to weed your ginger farm will destroy the seeds in the course of weeding.

Step Five: Harvesting.

On the average, it takes nine months from the time of planting ginger to mature. In Nigeria, harvesting begins in October and runs all through May. Ginger rhizomes can be harvested by hand or with machines such as mechanical digger.

Step Six: Preservation.

Well preserved/ dried ginger has more market values than the wet ones. Preservation is done by cutting transversely or longitudinally and then spreading under the sun.

Step Seven: Storage and Packaging.

Depending on how you want to sell your ginger, dried ginger is packaged can be stored in a 50kg bag or any capacity. It is advisable to store ginger in a cool dry place until you wish to sell them.

This article was referenced from http://nigerianfinder.com/ginger-farming-in-nigeria-step-by-step-guide/

FG to train three million women, youths in Agribusiness this year

agribusiness

Women and Youths in Agribusiness

The Federal Government has said it has concluded plans to train three million women and youths in Agribusiness across the country this year.

The Director for Extension Services of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Karima Babangida stated this on Tuesday in Kano State. According to her, the government will achieve this through its Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise (LIFE) Programme which is aimed at equipping beneficiaries with capacity enhancing skills.

Babangida was in Kano for the selection and sensitization of Youths and Women Cooperatives for the first phase of the programme to be implemented in 24 states and Abuja. She solicited the support of the Kano State Government for the scheme.

“The Programme’s goal is to promote community-based on-farm and off-farm business activities as a model for job and wealth creation among women and youths in rural and suburban households. This will be done by linking beneficiaries to financial institutions, market, capacity building and input”, she said.

She said the programme was designed to tackle post-harvest losses while generating incomes and livelihoods for beneficiaries.

“The initial primary focus of the programme is post-harvest loss prevention. To this end, a team made up of professional officers from the Ministry of Agriculture is here to fast-track the immediate take-off of the programme,” she said.

Under the programme, two cooperatives will be selected from two Local Government Areas from each of the three senatorial zones in the benefiting states. In each LGA, two communities will be selected, based on the comparative advantage for the priority agricultural produce of the state. The remaining 12 states would participate in the next phase of the programme.

This will keep the youths and women in the rural areas engaged economically. What is mostly available in the rural areas are farmlands.

Women and Youths in Agriculture.

When you go to the rural areas, women and the youths are more engaged in farming than any other economic activity. The government coming to train this category of people is a welcome development.

In the area of Agribusiness, women and youths will be trained to be business savvy as regards to agriculture. Not only will they know the rudiments of the business, but they will be exposed to a larger market.

Youth Unemployment will also be reduced amongst the youths.

Ref: Agronigeria.com

Jigawa to Engage 10,000 Youths for Rice Production

Jigawa

10,000 Youths To Be Engaged in Rice Production In Jigawa

The Jigawa State Government has announced that it will engage 10,000 youths this year for the cultivation of rice.

This was stated in Dutse by the special assistant to Governor Muhammed Badaru on Agriculture, Jamilu Dan- Malam. He said the rice production program was part of the Federal Government’s Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme (AADS).

The youths who fall between the age bracket of 18 and 35 would be engaged when the programme starts in September this year.

The state government has already inaugurated a Project Monitoring Team (PMT) to ensure a successful execution of the programme.

“The team consists of council chairmen, heads of agricultural departments, personnel of the state agricultural and development agency, district heads, party, and AFAN chairmen as well as youth leaders,” he said.

He listed the following areas where rice could be grown in the state. This included Auyo, Babura, Dutse; Guri, Gwaram, Gwiwa, Jahun, kirikasamma, Kiyawa, and Kaugama Local Government areas.

Aside from an increase in rice production, it will also to a reduction in youths unemployment.

It is worthy of note that President Buhari at the start of the year stated that FG will be placing a ban on the importation of rice into the country. With the engagement of these youths in Jigawa state, Nigeria will be self-sufficient in the production of rice. The president is also keen on the exportation of agricultural products as this will generate revenue for the country.

For the exportation of rice, Tinker and Bell Trading Ltd will be on the ground to help farmers get a wider access to international buyers. With our wide international network, you can be guaranteed that we will connect you with the right buyer and market.

2018 Outlook: Agricultural Sector

Agricultural sectorThe Nigerian Agricultural Sector

In the quest to diversify the Nigerian Economy, the current government has singled out the agricultural sector as a viable alternative to crude oil. This is why President Buhari proposed ₦118.98 billion as the 2018  budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector. This signifies a 14.6% increase from the 2017 budget which was ₦103.79 billion.

The Nigerian economy which has been driven by the oil sector is gradually shifting towards agriculture. The government believes that that agriculture will be another mainstay and bedrock of the nation’s growth.

In 2016 and 2017, oil production nosedived which meant that government has to look for another source of revenue. It is worthy of note that the activities of the Niger-Delta militant affected the oil production in both years. This action came at a cost as it plunged the country into recession for the first time in 20 years.

President Buhari while presenting the 2018 budget last year said ” diversification efforts have resulted in improved output particularly in the agriculture and solid minerals sectors. The relative exchange rate stability has improved the manufacturing sector’s performance.

“We have got to get used to discipline and direction in economic management. The days of business, as usual, are numbered. Two years, I appealed to people to go back to the farm. I am highly gratified that agriculture has picked up, contributing to the government’s effort to diversify the economy. Rice will stop this year. Local rice which is fresher and more nutritious will be on dishes from now on,” he added.

Buhari also talked about the ongoing initiatives in the sector. This included the over 33,000 hectares of irrigation projects that have increased water availability in key food-producing state

2018 outlook

In order to encourage and improve local agricultural produce, the government is taking steps to curb the illegal importation of food into the country. This was why the government called a stakeholders meeting last year on the smuggling of food items into Nigeria.

During that meeting, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, said that government will ensure that food products brought into Nigeria are not sold in the country.

Most of the foods products being smuggled into the country include rice, poultry products, and fisheries.

The government has prioritized the agricultural sector and are hopeful that in 2018, it will generate more income from the sector. The government has been advised to provide storage and processing facilities this year as a lot of food crops are wasted due to lack of storage house, and lack of processing facilities. This advice was given by Muda Yusuf who is the DG of Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

Ref: Leadershp.ng

Agric Exports increased by 160% in 2017-FG

Agric ExportsFG declared a 160% increase in Agric exports

Agric exports increased by 160% in 2017 at the Tin Can island Apapa port, FG has said.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, made this known yesterday at a retreat in conjunction with Synergos towards enhancing public service delivery.

More than $35 million was earned from the export of Zobo in 2017. Zobo is a local drink produced from hibiscus leaves.

“All containers that carry cargo before and were half empty are now going out fully loaded with goods for exports. And this has led to the shortage of containers,” Ogbeh said.

Aside from oil and gas, agriculture was the biggest sector in terms of job creation in the country. The cultivation of rice is expected to generate an additional 6 million job. He said that this is achievable as 12 million Nigerian involved in rice cultivation.

Ogbeh said that importation of rice Thailand has drastically reduced by 95 percent as directed by the president. He recalled that the president wanted Nigeria to be a major exporter of food. “Since there is a growing need for Nigeria’s agro produce, all we need to do is strengthen our quality control and once make agriculture a force and a national culture,” he said.

Ogbeh said that the government was going to open new frontiers this year by focusing on improved fertilizer blending and plantation crops particularly cashews and cocoa.

Nigeria the fourth leading producer of cocoa beans in the world putting the country behind Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia.

FG  intends to move up the rank as the leading grower of the cash crop over the five years.

Cote d’ Ivoire’s current cocoa output as at April 2017 was 1, 148,992 tonnes while Ghana was second at 835,466 tons.
Nigeria produced 367,000 tons of cocoa in 2017.

 

 

SESAME SEEDS PRODUCTION

Sesame seeds

Sesame Seed

Sesame seeds are one of the crops that are in high demand in Nigeria. After Cocoa, Sesame seeds are the next export crop in terms of export value. Statistically, 90% of the sesame seeds produced in the country are export abroad. So why does Nigeria export such a high volume of this crop? This is due to its numerous health and industrial benefits. Also, when compared to other oilseed crops, sesame seed has a higher oil content.

The Oil extracts from the seed are used in the cosmetic industries in producing body lotions and creams. In order to produce canned sardines, corned beef, margarine, and soaps, oil extracted from sesame seed is used. It is also used in the bakeries, confectioneries, paint, and pharmaceutical industries.

For Health benefits, sesame seed oil contains little or no cholesterol oil. This oil extract is rich in vitamin E and pantothenic acid. The seed is a good source of amino acid, fatty acid, calcium, and phosphorus.

Nigeria has the capacity to produce 4.8 million tonnes yearly but produces just a little above 300, 000 tonnes annually. This makes Nigeria the second largest producer of sesame seed in the world and seventh in the world.

The crop is grown in 26 states of the federation; some of which includes Taraba, Delta, Jigawa, Ebonyi, and Nassarawa. The market for the crop is vast with China and Japan being the major buyers of the seed. Turkey, India, Poland and The Netherlands have also traded with Nigeria in the past.

The north will be the best destination as the crop thrives well in that region due to its drought resistant ability. It can also be grown in the South-South and South East of the country, however too much rainfall can affect its yield.

Monitoring

Just like any production process, it is important to monitor the planting process as the sesame plant is susceptible to disease and pest. Insects, fungi, bacteria, and weeds can have an adverse effect on the yield and quality of the harvest.

Constant weeding should be done every 25 days to prevent young seedlings to be choked from yet to germinate seeds. Thining which is another activity should be done three weeks after planting.

Sesame seed takes 4-5 months to reach maturity stage and the seeds are germinated when 50% of its capsules turn yellow.

 

Market

The sesame seed market is a large one and you don’t have to worry about where your seed will be needed. Whilst Europe and Asia are the major importers of the seed, the Middle East is fast becoming a destination market.

The profit earned from Sesame seed cannot be overemphasized as it is more profitable compared to other crops using the same level of resources.

You can decide to experiment with this crop by investing a minimum amount and see how it performs.

 

 

 

Edo State To Boost Economy Through Agriculture in 2018

EDO STATE

The Edo State Government has announced plans to boost the state’s economic growth and development through agricultural production in the state next year.

The Special Adviser to the State Governor on Agriculture and Food Security Programme, Joe Okojie, who made the disclosure in Benin City, said the initiatives are meant to support farmers and attract more investments in agribusinesses in the state.

He listed the initiatives to include clearing of 2600 hectares of land across the state, fertiliser production, measures to tackle farmers-herders clashes, steady supplies of pesticides, improved seedlings and farm equipment to farmers.

He said the government was committed to making farming less risky and cumbersome for farmers in a bid to achieve economic growth through agriculture.

“Governor Obaseki is committed to providing everyone with the necessary support to fast-track mechanised and commercial farming, which also includes the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme. The governor believes agriculture is a sure means to create wealth and employment for the people. That is why the state government hired companies for the land clearing, which is obviously one of the most expensive and critical aspects of agriculture,” he said.

The Special Adviser stated that the State Government has enlisted some of the Libyan returnees in its agricultural schemes.

“Some of the returnees from Libya have completed training at the state’s Agricultural Development Programme. The government has allocated land to them to cultivate. We will assist them with funds and access to markets,” he said.

He said the state government had inaugurated the Benin Industrial Park to boost agro-processing in the state.

source: https://agronigeria.com.ng/2018-edo-rolls-initiatives-boost-economy-agric/

CAVA II has identified inconsistency in raw materials as problem of cassava production

The Country Manager of Cassava Adding Value for Africa II (CAVA II) (Nigeria), Prof. Later Sanni has identified inconsistency in the supply of raw materials as a major and critical point for the survival of large-scale industries in the country.

Sanni, who stated this during the facilitation and communication skills training programme for Development Programmes (ADPs) extension officers and procurement staff of large-scale cassava producers, said sourcing for raw materials of between 250 and 450 tonnes of cassava required quite a lot of work.

“We are aware that you have different locations where you source for raw materials but at present, there are some issues we have itemised in the last two years-right quality, right quantity and right time of supply – which should be urgently addressed.

“The major problem is that the farmers themselves have informed us that some of the extension officers or procurement officers are delaying their payments, which is attitudinal and that’s why we felt its better we bring in a consultant that will interact with you on facilitation, communication and sustainable engagement,” he said.

In his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor of FUNAAB, Professor Felix Salako said the nation should move away from its over-dependence on oil resources and embrace agriculture, as a sustainable route to national development.

“We are having new generation of extension officers. All of you sitting here are young, seeing your faces; I think we are meeting new generation of extension officers. And I hope you are really going to be the catalyst that would push the nation forward in terms of using agriculture as an alternative to crude oil export. It is dawning on everybody now – whether we like it or not – we are running into trouble with oil.

What may even make oil to be useless is the fact that people are already thinking of alternative sources of energy, even for running cars? The training could not have come at a better time than now.

SOURCE: https://guardian.ng/features/cava-ii-identifies-inconsistency-in-raw-materials-as-bane-of-cassava-production/

Investing In Agriculture Will Help Farmers- World Bank Agri Boss

agriculture

 

 

 

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has strengthened Europe’s farming sector and reduced rural poverty, but the EU must now push for the adoption of technology and open source data to drive better outcomes for all farmers, Juergen Voegele told EURACTIV.com in an interview.

Juergen Voegele is the senior director for agriculture global practice at the World Bank Group. He spoke to EURACTIV’s Samuel White in Brussels, after presenting a World Bank report on the EU entitled Thinking CAP: Supporting agricultural jobs and incomes in the EU.

Here are the highlights of the interview:

  • The CAP supports farmers and alleviates poverty without distorting markets
  • Decoupled payments help provide better-paid jobs in rural areas
  • Technology holds untapped potential to help all farmers, rich or poor
  • The EU must invest in open source technology and data around the world
  • The regional and national focus of the next CAP will drive better results

Do you think it is a sustainable situation today where the average farmer gets 46% of their income from EU subsidies?

The word sustainable is a very weak term in finance. If a society decides that it wants public good outcomes such as poverty alleviation, that it wants better climate and nutritional outcomes, and it invests €60bn in these goals today, do we anticipate that this investment will go down in the future? Not really. In one way or another society will continue to invest in these things. We can’t predict whether funding for the CAP will go up or down, it is a political decision. But we don’t think this is an unreasonable amount of money given the public goods challenges we face here.

Do you not see subsidies as a factor that distorts the price of certain foods or makes them unnaturally cheap?

These are no longer price-distorting subsidies like they were 20 or 30 years ago, with support for specific commodities. Decoupled payments, which account for most of the CAP subsidies, are essentially a social safety net that provides additional income to farmers without distorting prices.

We have found that the CAP reaches every nook and cranny of the EU and that decoupled pillar 1 payments [direct farm support] and pillar 2 payments [rural development support] all increase agricultural productivity per worker and reduce poverty. And with coupled pillar 1 payments [direct support for producing particular commodities] we find no correlation. They are a mixed bag. That is not to say that they do not have a positive effect on other things but they do not do that.

In your study, you said that there is a strong correlation between the CAP, the reduction of poverty in rural areas and the economic strength of the farming sector but it is not a causal relationship. Can you say with more or less certainty that the CAP is to thank for this or are other factors at play?

I think your phrasing is about right. We can say with more or less certainty that yes, there is a correlation. Will it stand up to academic scrutiny in an economics journal, depending on what you look at, maybe not? We have no neutral component to compare it against, but from everything we know and understand, clearly, there is a connection between the two. There is no way to prove it scientifically because we don’t have ten EU countries that don’t get the CAP but we would not publish it if we were not confident that there was a link. And we try to control for every possible variable that could also explain a reduction in poverty or improvement in economic performance.

Such as a country joining the EU in the first place

Yes, and particular country circumstances, urbanization rates, education, all these things.

You also pointed out that the CAP has helped increase farm efficiency and that there are now fewer, if better paid, jobs in EU agriculture. Is this driving people to the cities or is it simply helping farmers through the urbanization process?

I don’t think you can conclude that urbanization is due to the CAP. In fact, I would say it is quite the opposite, it is slowing the urbanization process down a bit and stabilizing it. In some countries where rapid urbanization is happening, the CAP is supporting those who stay behind in rural areas.

Your report said that new technologies hold untapped potential for measuring the impacts of farming methods and increasing efficiency. Is that an area you think the next CAP should focus on?

Yes, not only farmers but also the Commission need to shift their thinking from one of inputs and policies to the impact they want to achieve, in soil quality, the climate, emissions reduction and so on. That is what the Commission wants, they want to move towards a results-based indicator system, so that is the right direction. It is not easy but technology is evolving that allows you to do that. The data and the instruments available for this are developing very rapidly. You couldn’t have done this five years ago, but with today’s satellite imagery, what happens on the farm is no longer a secret, it is transparent. You cannot go to every plot in every farm in the European Union and start measuring soil carbon, that is not feasible, but the technology will allow you to measure these things. We are very optimistic because this is then a very powerful tool to shift away from input-based to results-based outcomes.

Do you think that greater power to measure results would lead the Commission to demand certain results in return for funding?

I wouldn’t draw that conclusion. This is a conversation we need to continue to have, but the aim is not to play one thing off against the other. The aim is to decide the impact that we want and then design the system so this can be achieved. I don’t see a big risk that certain outcomes will become mandatory.

What about the divide between richer and poorer farmers and those in areas with good or bad broadband coverage? Won’t the adoption of precision farming make this divide even greater?

What we are hearing from the folks who know about broadband is that in the next five years – at the latest – everyone on the planet will have broadband access. Everyone, including in Africa. So in Europe, of course, this means even every village in Romania. If we take that as a given, that makes precision farming technology available even for small farmers. There is this notion, which is true right now, those big farmers can afford computerized, self-driving machinery and so on, but there is a lot more to the technology than that. It can also help smallholder farmers tremendously. There are lots of examples around the world of how cell-phone technology can bring benefits. Nowadays you can identify a pest in a field just be taking a photo with a smartphone, and this helps a small farmer as much as a large farmer. At the World Bank, we work mainly with small farmers around the world and we are seeing a lot of technological progress. And we are pushing technology because there is a lot it can do for every farmer, even if they cannot necessarily afford the latest computer-driven combine harvester.

The images produced by the European satellites are free to use. Is open source data something that the World Bank is trying to encourage elsewhere in the world?

Yes. Share the data, it should all be fully open. Things are going in that direction. It needs some initial investment to get things going but in the end, we see the data being free for everybody.

Should the EU play a role in making sure this kind of data is freely available in places like Africa?

It should absolutely have a role to play. It should invest significantly in research, it should invest in this technology, in adapting it and making it available to farmers in ways that are useful to all, absolutely. And that is clearly the trend. Of course, there are lots of private companies that make money with various bits and pieces. But the future is open source, it is sharing data. For me, there is no way around that. It will take a bit of time but the EU certainly has a role here because the data is a public good. It may be a private investment initially but clearly, it needs to be shared.

And more broadly, the Commission’s latest CAP communication showed they are keen to drive it down this public goods direction, and this is a very positive development. More impact on the environment, more impact on nutritional outcomes, so we very strongly support this general trend. Conceptually the CAP needs to make the shift from a subsidy to an investment. When you get a public good outcome you are no longer talking about a subsidy, you are talking about an investment. And if the farmers can benefit at the same time as delivering that public good outcome, then that’s a good thing. This is a win-win-win. You have not only poverty alleviation but you also have a better landscape, better climate outcomes, hopefully, better nutritional outcomes. And this makes the CAP a very powerful tool.

So for you, the enhanced regional or national aspect of the next CAP is very positive when it comes to delivering results.

It is essential. It is fantastic. A lot of other countries around the world are looking to the European Commission right now as a good example. They used to be very critical. Europe has achieved a more than 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture while raising productivity by 10%. And when we get asked by agriculture ministers around the world how to do this – be they from China, Brazil, Nigeria – we say how the European Union has done it. About 30% of the CAP funding now goes towards this goal [greening] but we hope it can be more in future. We strongly support that because the rest of the world needs this approach too and they can learn from Europe.

You have touched on nutrition already as an issue that will have to be dealt with at some point in the future. Do you see the CAP as part of a future food policy?

Each country needs its own broad food policy and the CAP is an instrument in that policy debate. But it is clear that nutrition is a huge challenge going forward. Right now globally around 50% of the world’s population is malnourished. Every second person on the planet is either undernourished, vitamin deficient or obese. So clearly the food system globally does not deliver on food outcomes. In Europe, this is true to a certain extent. We have a problem with obesity on the rise, and agriculture and the food system have a role to play.

Right now agriculture and food are not focusing on that, but our suggestion is that is should begin doing so. This can be achieved through diversification and cropping patterns, by focusing on research, there is a whole raft of things that can be done. The shift from coupled to decoupled subsidies is part of this and we fully support it.

Most global subsidies go to five main crops, which makes them cheaper and it means that poorer people cannot afford the fruits and nuts they should be eating as part of a healthy diet. But this is not the case with the decoupled subsidies in Europe.

20 years ago the rest of the world didn’t look at Europe as a stellar example of agricultural policy but that is changing. The world is changing. Every country around the world is struggling to support its agricultural community. It is a real challenge and there are not that many good examples but here we are beginning to see some really positive examples of how to do this right.

When you give your advice based on the European model to other countries, does this include the poorer countries in Africa that struggle to produce enough food to feed their populations?

Yes absolutely. They want to learn to avoid some of the mistakes that have been made in the past, such as coupled subsidies for a limited range of crops and fertilizer subsidies. Fertiliser subsidies are always inefficient. The EU gave them up a long time ago, but for others, there is still a lot to learn. In Rwanda, we designed the national agriculture policy based on the EU rural development programme: competitiveness, natural resources, and rural livelihoods. It is much better than just putting a certain budget into fertilizer subsidies, which is always very inefficient and always ends up just helping the rich. Europe has gone way beyond that stage and there are a lot of positive things to say about its agricultural policy.

Source: http://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/interview/world-bank-agri-boss-investing-in-technology-will-help-all-farmers/

15 Million MT of Rice was Produced in 2017

rice

 

 

 

15 million mt of rice was produced in 2017.  This was in a statement made by the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN)

According to the RIFAN deputy national vice president, Segun Atho, the association’s production exceeded the country’s population requirement of seven metric tonnes annually.

The RIFAN executive spoke at the ‘Celebrating Nigeria Rice ceremony held at the Foursquare Gospel Church, Yaba, Lagos.

He said, “We produce 15 million metric tonnes of rice and Nigerians can only consume six to seven million metric tons; we produce excess and we can export the remaining ones to some African countries.

“We have about 85 million hectares of land out of it about six to seven million hectares can be used to cultivate the farm produce that can feed Nigerians.

“As farmers, we make Nigeria rice available to Nigerians, we urge Nigerians to look inwards and start patronizing the made in Nigeria produce”.

Also at the ceremony was Dr. Adebola Osibon, the church’s Head of Children Ministry, he tasked parents to encourage their children to become farmers.

“I feel that it will impact on the children positively, the children did not know that being a farmer is important and good”, he said.

Mr. Sagar Joe, policy adviser, Competitive African Rice Initiative/John Kufour Foundation, said the ceremony was aimed at sensitizing Nigerians on the quality and availability of the Nigerian farm produce through children.

“The programme entails identifying one or two schools that organize the end of year pupils party, find out the number of bags needed to feed the pupils and supply them free of charge.

“It is also aimed to significantly improve the livelihoods of big rice farmers in selected African countries by increasing the Competitiveness of domestic rice supply to meet increasing regional demands”, he said.

This figure is encouraging and can infleunce farmers to go into the rice farming business. Aside from that, it will earn the Nigerian Economy Foreign exchange through Export. The Farm produce is one of the most popular foods consumed by Nigerians as it is consumed on a daily basis either at home, work or eatery.

We hope in 2018, the figure will be surpassed.

Ref: http://leadership.ng