Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Bayelsa chapter says it engaged 950 young farmers in mechanised rice farming in 2019.
The Chairman of the association, Mr Ezekiel Ogbianko said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Yenagoa.
Ogbianko said the move was part of the association’s support to increase rice production and to reduce unemployment among the youth population in the state.
The chairman said explained that the young farmers were selected from the eight Local Government Areas of the state.
“In 2019, we made tremendous achievement. We were able to engage 950 young farmers cutting across the eight local government areas of Bayelsa.
“These young farmers are currently working in our lands located in various communities including Ondowari, Okpotuwari in Southern Ijaw Local Government area of the state.
“We cleared and cultivated rice in over 5,000 hectares of land in the same year, 2019. We have also deliberated on steps to cultivate rice all seasons. .
“We harvested 50,000 bags each per season making a total of 100, 000 bags. So, we are moving forward and we are committed to improving rice production in Bayelsa.’’
The chairman expressed delight on the steps taken by President Mohammadu Buhari led administration to promote agriculture, adding that the government’s support to farmers had been legendary.
“We hope that agriculture policy in 2020 is made more favourable for us to build on the achievement made so far,’’ he said.
Ogbianko, however, urged more youths in the state to venture into farming, adding that agriculture was money spinning business venture.
“The youths should stop seeing farming as old people’s business. I must tell them that there is money in agriculture. We must support the present government in ensuring food security,’’ he said. (NAN)