The Nigerian Government has registered 178,490 farmers to plant rice, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Bukar Tijanni, has said.
Tijanni made the announcement in Abuja on Wednesday in a statement signed by Alhaji Salisu Nainna, Director of Information in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The farmers are to plant the crop on 232,609 hectares of land in 10 states under the dry season paddy rice production programme, the minister said.
He said that the move was part of Federal Government’s effort to attain self-sufficiency in rice production and “end the importation of the commodity by 2015.”
The statement said that farmers participating in the programme were registered in Kogi, Niger, Kano, Katsina, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi and Sokoto States.
Tijanni said that the present administration was “desirous of weaning the country of imported rice.
He said that the Federal Government had approved incentives for the farmers “in order to give full encouragement in the dry season accelerated paddy rice production programme.”
The incentives provided to the farmers include three bags of fertilisers subsidised at 50 per cent per 50 kilogramme, a bag of improved rice seeds and extension services on paddy rice production.
Other incentives include a guaranteed minimum price for the commodity.
According to the statement, a total of 6,332 farmers has been registered to participate in the exercise in Sokoto State where they are expected to plant 41,361 hectres of rice during the dry season.
“They will receive 2,068 tonnes of improved rice seeds and 6, 204 tonnes of assorted fertilisers,” the minister said.