Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
Not less than 6,520 farmers from five states across the country including Kogi State are to participate in the RIFAN-Model Dry-season rice production as part of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowersâ€™ Scheme.
The Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Mrs. Rabi Emaikwu, disclosed this on Saturday in Lokoja at the monthly meeting of the Core Delivery Team (CDT) of the State Partnership for Agriculture (SPA) organised by Synergos Nigeria.
According to her, the meeting was to enable the CDT discuss and outline 2018 priority areas of activities/interventions, evaluate progresses and new developments in the agricultural sector and as well, strengthen collaborations and partnerships in the state.
Emaikwu, who is also the Special Adviser (SA) to Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello on Farmers Affairs and Agricultural Development and Chairman, said the model was being experimented in Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Plateau states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the North-Central using 6,520 existing rice farmers.
â€œWe are using existing farm locations that do not require fresh clearing of land. The mapping is already going on in Kogi state and hopefully, by the end of this year to January, 2018, the programme will take offâ€, she said.
Also speaking, Director, Agricultural Services with the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Dennis Okwoli, said the state intended to improve on the production of Cassava, Rice and Cashew in the 2018 planting season.
He said about 4,200 hectares of land comprising 200 hectares in each of the 21 Local Government Areas of the state had been earmarked for the production and enhancement of Cassava crop value chain.
Okwoli said Alloma Oil Palm plantation was billed for rehabilitation and expansion with over 1,000 hectares of available land while rehabilitation and expansion of Cocoa fields was also being planned for nine Local Government Areas.
Dr Uhuotu Akomodi, Director, Livestock in the ministry said 1000 earthling ponds would be established to empower youths with a pilot project of 2,500 fingerlings per pond in a Local Government Area in each of the three senatorial districts of the state.
Director, Nutrition, Mrs. Rachael Tokula, said the Ministry would embark on Micro-Nutrient Deficiency Control through promotion of home garden and school farming, saying that N10 million had been proposed for commencement of Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture in the 2018 budget.
Mrs. Lydia Oyewale of Fadama said FADAMA III AF planned to establish 33 crop processing centres comprising 20 for women and 13 for youths, adding that funding for 195 FADAMA GUYS beneficiaries would be made available.
Director, Planning Monitoring & Evaluation at the state Agricultural Development Project (ADP), Mrs. Folashade Olukotun, said the recently inaugurated Agricultural Villages would start with 100 hectares of cassava farms in 2018 while Extension Services would be pursued with vigour.