Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi
A new rice specie has been discovered in Warrah town, in Ngaski Local Government Area of Kebbi State by the Green Agriculture of West African Limited (GAWAL).
GAWAL is a Chinese company operating in the state.
The rice is an improved variety with 10kg seeds planted on an hectare of land and yielded nine tons.
The specie was breed by GAWAL and had been subjected to experiments several times, which yielded more than the old variety known as Faro.
While confirming the development, a farmer Abdullahi Maigundu Argungu, who went to the company to collect the sample of the GAWAL rice seeds, noted that after six months of cultivation, he was able to harvest nine tons of the rice.
In his words, “After six months I planted the seeds, I discovered the seed is far better than the Faro 44 which is a famous rice seeds commonly plant by Kebbi rice farmers.
“I realised that if 10 KG of GAWAL rice is planted in one hectare, one will get 8 to 9 tons of paddy rice. But if it is Faro 44, with 10 kg seeds planted it in a hectare, you only get 5-6 tons of paddy rice. GAWAL is more improved variety than Faro 44.”
Argungu had invited some top government officials from Ministry of Agriculture including Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Muhammed Shehu Lawal, represented by General Manager, Kebbi Agriculture Rural Development Agency (KARDA), Muhammed Umar Sanusi Illo, Chairman of Kebbi Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria.(RIFAN), Alhaji Muhammed Sahabi Augie, GAWAL Seed Manager Mr. Wang Xemed , a representative of Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Kebbi State office and other stakeholders in the area during the harvest.
He urged the Kebbi State Government to collaborate with the GAWAL company to enable rice farmers in the state have access to the new improved rice seeds, stressing that it was more economical and profitable to the indigenous farmers .
In his remarks, GAWAL Seed Manager, Wang Xemed, thanked Argungu for utilising the sampling seeds and showcasing the outputs to the public saying, “On behalf of the company, we are thanking you for enlightening rice farmers, stakeholders on the improved rice seeds discovered in the state.”
KARDA representative, Muhammed Illo, Kebbi while speaking on behalf of stakeholders, also thanked Argungu and the GAWAL company for the new discovery stressed that the development would not only benefited Kebbi state but Nigeria as a whole.
Chairman of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Alhaji Augie, in his remarks commended Argungu and the GAWAL company for their efforts, stressing that rice farmers in the state would embraced the new rice seeds.