Rice Yield Rises By 140% In Niger | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Rice Yield Rises By 140% In Niger

Posted: Jun 25, 2015 at 3:28 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chinwendu Nnadozie –  Minna


Rice yield per hectare among rice farmers across Niger State has increased by 140 per cent following the introduction of certified seed.

Farmers in the state now produce six tonnes as against two tonnes after introduction of the new seed.

Managing Director, Niger State Agricultural and Mechanization Development Authority (NAMDA), Baba Kutigi Madugu, disclosed this during the flag-off of free distribution of certified seeds to farmer in Wushishi in the Wushishi Local Government area.

The disclosure is coming against the backdrop of fears by some farmers that the delayed rainfall for this year’s cropping season could cause poor yield of farm produce.

Kutigi, who was represented on the occasion by the Director of Extension Services, Dr. Idris Usman Gbogan, also said the increase in the production capacity of farmers per hectare of land was not only limited to the rice production but also in the production of maize by 146 per cent.

According to him, farmers now harvest six tonnes in most of the crops cultivated across Niger State as against 2.5 tonnes, while sorghum in particular had improved by 140 per cent.

This indicates that farmers record a yield of three tonnes as against one per hectare.

Kutigi attributed the feat to the intervention of West African Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP), which according to him, provided not only the certified grains and foundation seeds but also ensured that the commodity were distributed free of charge to farmers.

The aim of the foundation seeds supported by WAAPP project was to assist farmers within the community so that they would be seed entrepreneurs by undergoing practical training of multiplying certified seeds for distribution to farmers and the programme is 100 per cent supported by WAAPP, the MD further explained.

“Under foundation seeds programme, five crops, including rice, maize, sorghum, yam and cassava, are involved in which 1.5 tonnes of rice will be distributed to 60 farmers for multiplying in five hectares of farm land by each of the selected farmers.

“And so it goes for three metric tonnes of maize to be shared among 150 farmers, one metric tonne of sorghum to 100 farmers, 500 bundles of cassava cutting to 10 farmers and 6,450 yam seeds each to a farmer,” he said.