From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
Anambra State government’s investment in agriculture has started yielding results as the state has received order from some businessmen to supply N300 million worth of rice.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanisation and Export, Mr. Afam Mbanefo, who disclosed this yesterday said the development had shown that the state was on course in its efforts to make the state the biggest producer of rice in Nigeria
Mbanefor, who spoke at the flag off of disbursement of inputs to FADAMA rice farmers in Awka, the state capital, noted that with such orders coming, rice farmers must work harder to increase their yield and assured of state government’s preparedness to give the necessary support to achieve the desired objective.
About 2, 270 farmers from over 100 clusters in various parts of the state were given input vouchers that would cover fertiliser, chemicals, seeds, among other needs, which was 50 per cent of the required input for the farming season.
The affected farmers, according to FADAMA officials, were expected to provide the balance of 50 per cent.
He said the expectation of Governor Willie Obiano was to export Anambra rice to Europe in the near future.
He disclosed that some African countries were also making enquiries about the rice for the purpose of importation.
This, he said, made the state government to target the production of 360, 000 metric tonnes of rice to meet local and export demands.
While assuring farmers of ready market for all their produce, he restated the need for farmers to apply the knowledge they acquired during various training programmes the state had organised for them to ensure that the required standard was maintained.
“Our governor does not joke with agriculture as he is always concerned with how farmers would be encouraged to improve agricultural yield in the state.
“The governor’s ultimate objective is to make Anambra the largest producer of rice in the country, and with the support he is giving the farmers, our state will soon achieve that objective.”