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FG distributes inputs to boost rice farming in Plateau

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The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has distributed inputs to smallholder rice farmers in the North Central zone to boost rice farming .
The distribution was done in Jos on Thursday in a one- day training programme for selected rice farmers in North Central Zone.
The Minster of Agriculture , Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, who was represented by Sylvester Bayei, the Regional Director FMARD, Plateau State, said that the purpose of the intervention was to boost rice production in the country.
Abubakar said that the beneficiaries were drawn from Plateau, Kogi, Kwara, Benue , Niger,Nasarawa, Niger and the FCT.
“Each beneficiary is to receive inputs including 25kg certified rice seeds of FARO 44 variety.” Abubakar said.
The minister said that the country could not afford to rely on importation of rice as a staple food consumed in virtually all homes  across the country.
He said the intervention was to encourage more  cultivation and also to empower farmers in rice production.
“The intervention does not stop at production but continues to other stages of parboiling, de-stoning, polishing and grading to make us self sufficient in rice production for export,” he said.
He said the ministry was also involved in the distribution of flood-tolerant certified seeds to farmers along the riverine areas, to mitigate the effect of flood and other natural disasters witnessed recently.
The minister said that there were upgrade in the milling process as new rice mills were springing up in the process of reestablishing integrated rice mills in strategic rice production cluster.
Mr  Isah Mohamed from  Niger State, said that with intervention of this kind, rice farmers would produce to capacity.
Mr  Joshua Jonathan  from Nasarawa State, said it was only natural for farmers to record good yield with the support from  the government.
The state  Coordinator, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Stephen Dowoh, said rice farmers would use the intervention to their benefits to increase rice production in the state.

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