ODSG empowers rice farmers
By Kehinde Oluwatayo
In its determination to produce enough rice for local consumption and export to other states of the country, Ondo State Government has empowered some farmers to boost their production.
Speaking after presenting cheques to the farmers, Senior Special Assistant to the state Governor on Agric and Agribusiness , Pastor Akin Olotu said that government will not own any farm.
He said government’s strategy was to empower farmers to produce and create enabling environment for them to operate.
According to him, more rice farmers will be empowered adding that the governor will improve on the rice mill at Alayere.
He assured that there will be more rice in the state than last year, adding that the Governor had ditrected that 10,000 hectares of land should be cleaned to grow rice apart from the farmers’ contribution.
While saying that the place has been prepared at Uso, Olotu said about 1,000 farmers will cluster to cultivate rice at the place.
Olotu said government secured a loan from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) based on the success story of last year in rice production to be given to the farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Scheme through the Bank of Agriculture.
The farmers according to him were brought together by FADAMA and trained on rice cultivation.
He explained further that the farmers whose yield was just about three tonnes per hectare harvested up to eight tonnes last year as a result of the training.
He said a team from International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), will partner with the state and noted that another method of planting the crop has been introduced by the agency which is less expensive and produces better yield.
“The group we gave cheques to today is Emmanuel Rice FADAMA Users Group in Aule. They met certain conditions before we gave the loan. Others will get their own as soon as they meet the conditions.
“And when they harvest, we will take paddy from them and process in our mill at Alayere and distribute as Golden Sun Rice,” he explained.