Mr. Sylvanus Ejezie, the Chairman of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Delta State Chapter, has disclosed that farmers in the state are targeting 28,000 MT of rice from this year’s dry season farming.
The disclosure was made during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Asaba.
Mr. Ejezie explained that the target would be realized in March 2021, as no fewer than 7,000 farmers registered to take part in the dry season farming in the state.
According to him, the RIFAN-Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) loan scheme had provided all the materials needed by the farmers, and in line with the target of this exercise, each farmer is expected to cultivate at least one hectare with a targeted yield of four tonnes of rice per hectare.
The dry season farming which has commenced with land preparation, would be flagged off when some farmers receive their water hose to be able to pump water from the source to irrigate the farm. “Now, we want to take advantage of the dry season and all the farmers who have access to water will be participating,” Ejezie added.
Mr. Ejezie stressed that he would personally cultivate seven hectares to cover for the loss he suffered due to flood.
Why this matters
This effort is a reactive step by the farmers towards cushioning the shortfall in rice production in the country, as farmers incurred huge losses during the wet season farming due to the heavy flood which washed off a sizeable amount of their cultivation.
Hence, the decision to ramp-up rice cultivation in the state during the dry season will ensure that there is enough after the festivities and the yuletide season is over.
This will help to balance the demand and supply dynamics in the markets across all boards and food classes, given the importance of rice in the country.