Group Urges FG To Increase Rice Seedlings For Distribution | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Group Urges FG To Increase Rice Seedlings For Distribution

Posted: Apr 1, 2016 at 3:12 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Nisi Agro Alide Services, an agricultural NGO, on Thursday urged the Federal Government to invest in and provide high yield rice seedlings to farmers.

It said this will facilitate self-sufficiency in rice production in the country.

Mr. Nnamdi Ifenkwe, the project coordinator of the organisation, said in Lagos that this would enable farmers to meet the 2018 rice production target.

It would be recalled that the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Audu Ogbeh, had said during the ‘8th Tinubu Colloquium’ held in Abuja that the Federal Government planned to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production by the end of 2018.

Ogbeh, the keynote speaker, was represented by the Minister of State for Agriculture, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri.

Ifenkwe said that the government could achieve this rice sufficiency if emphasis was placed on supplying quality rice seeds to the various rice farmers’ association across the country.

According to him, this will also make the agriculture sector more business friendly so as to attract the right investors to the sector.

“There should be more tax rebates and other incentives that will spur new investment in the rice programmes.

“More incentives will drive new investors into investing and building modern rice mills which can be located in areas close to rice farms.”

He noted that farm inputs and other infrastructure must be provided to make the rice sufficiency project realisable.

Ifenkwe urged governments at all levels to also explore other channels that would make agriculture, especially rice farming attractive.

“Government should invest in diversify to avenues that will boost the sector.

“There should be an increase in the quantity of fertilisers distributed to farmers.

“Other structures such as irrigation channels must also be built in farm areas for the crops to be properly grown,” he said.