Stakeholders Urge Support for Farmers to Boost Rice, Wheat Production

Stakeholders in rice and wheat production in some of the North Eastern states have urged government at all levels to give adequate support to farmers to enable them boost their production.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews that rice and wheat farmers in the country had the potential to feed the country and export same if given the necessary support.

Aminu Maiwada, a rice farmer in Gashua town of Yobe said that most states in the country had areas that were suitable for rice production.

"In Yobe state, the Gashua/ Nguru wetlands, Nyakire lowlands, Ngalda plains and Godowoli valley had huge potential for irrigation rice farming that could produce rice to meet the needs of five other states

"The wetlands are mostly flooded during the rainy season but dry up and become very conducive for irrigation,” he said.

Salisu Ibrahim, who said rice farming had been their family business, attributed poor processing as the reason why Nigerians preferred foreign rice.

Hauwa Usman, a food vendor in Damaturu, said Nigerians now patronise local rice because of its natural taste.

The Chairman of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in Minari, Dutse Local Government Area of Jigawa, Saminu Garba, urged government to support farmers to boost their production.
According to him, with adequate support from the Federal and State Governments, farmers in the country have the capacity to ensure mass production of rice, wheat and sorghum.

He said that the support could be rendered by way of providing improved seeds, fertiliser and insecticides as part of intervention activities to farmers.