The Federal government has commenced the distribution of rice production input (Starter Pack) to farmers in the North Central to increase rice production in the country.
Speaking at the flagg-off of the distribution of the materials to 56 rice Farmers in Ilorin ,the Kwara state capital ,the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar said the purpose of the programme is to encourage farmers to produce rice locally.
Represented by the Deputy Director (Rice) Value chain from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development ,Mr Usman Bashir ,the Minister said the country cannot afford to rely on importation of food items that the citizens can grow and produce sufficiently.
He explained that the federal government is using the programme to empower the youths and create jobs through the value chain from seed production which involve many actors along the value chain line with the administrations agenda to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production and for export.
Dr Abubakar noted that the present administration is doing all it can within the limited resources and challenges of time in the post COVID era to encourage Nigerians to grow more food amidst natural disasters, in the past few years.
The minister said the Ministry has produced and distributed high quality Early Generation Seeds (AGS) through the National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI) to produce more certified seeds for distribution to farmers at the grassroots in order to encourage community seed production.
In her remark the, Managing Director, Kwara State Agricultural Development Programme ADP, Dr . Khadijat Ahmed urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the materials to boost their farming business.
Earlier in his address Kwara State Director Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development ,Dr,Aliu Kabir said the programme will enable the beneficiaries learn how to maximize resources to achieve excellent results.
He urge all participants and stakeholders, present to pay keen attention and ask relevant questons.