Tuesday, May 23, 2017
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Food Security – Bauchi Cultivates 4,000 Hectares of Rice

Bauchi — Bauchi State government will support rice farmers in the 20 local government areas of the state to cultivate at least 4,000 hectares of land in this year’s dry season.

The State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, who disclosed this recently while launching the 2017 Fadama III additional financing for dry season rice farming at Konkiyel village in Darazo local government, disclosed that the state had cultivated 2,500 hectares last year.

Represented by his commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Yakubu Kirfi, the governor said Bauchi was privileged to be the only state in the North-east that has the mandate of the national Fadama development project to produce rice and sorghum, adding that the state government has approved the payment of its counterpart contribution of N35 million annually.

According to him, “The World Bank through the National Fadama Development Project provided the sum of $200 million for the implementation of the Fadama III additional financing in some selected states, Bauchi state inclusive. The objective of the additional financing is to boost dry season farming as well as increase the income of land users on a sustainable manner.”

Abubakar further explained that the government has also paid the sum of N20 million as counterpart fund for the national food security and livelihood emergency support under the same Fadama III project for the benefit of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) that have chosen the state as their new home.
In an overview of the Fadama III Additional Financing, the National Project Coordinator, Mr. Tayo Adewumi commended the Bauchi state government that “within your less than two years support to the project, about N230m was already drawn while additional N680m is being drawn by Bauchi State from the project to support over 9,000 hectares and 10,000 beneficiaries (including youth and women beneficiaries in processing) for rice and sorghum production and assets in the State.

Adewumi noted that “at an average of 5 tonnes per hectares for rice, we can conveniently say over 200,000MT have been added into the food basket of our nation with current importation figure of 2.3 million tonnes.”

 According to him, “This output can be increased if only we are able to produce 2 to 3 times in a year, and increase our productivity per hectare to seven tonnes per hectare; in addition to increasing the number of project beneficiaries which today stands at about 10,000 farmers in Bauchi State.”

Also speaking the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Chief Audu Ogbeh, represented by a director in the ministry, Muhammed Yusuf said the programme is a collaborative effort of the federal government and the World Bank to scale up food production and generate employment to youths. He added that special attention is being given to four staple crops such as rice, sorghum, cassava and tomatoes.

“Bauchi state was identified to have a great potential for the production of two of these crops; rice and sorghum. This is when some states have been considered for only one crop. Let the state therefore justify the confidence reposed in it by excelling in the production of these crops”, the minister appealed.

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