As part of measures to accelerate Federal Government’s sustainable growth policies on Rice production in the country, AfricaRice, pan African intergovernmental agricultural research center has provided 50 Rice Farmers with modern mechanised technology training.28 of the benefiting youths were trained with the use of locally fabricated Rice threshers, while others specialised in the maintenance of the threshers.
Besides, the centre empowered another set of youths drawn from rural areas in Kano, under Rice innovation platform, to furnish Rice farmers with relevant information on fertilizer application and improved seeds to enhance efficient rice production in the country.
Though Kano is one of the few states in the country endowed with potential in commercial rice production, however, rice farmers are still engaging in subsisting farming with heavy loss es during post-harvest period.
Hence, the AfricaRice intervention targeted at young farmers would reduce losses and check the level of poverty in the land.Speaking during farmer field day in Kura, about 40 kilometers away from Kano, the team leader, AfricaRice Dr. Sidi Sanyang posited that the organisation is committed to enhancing value chain in Rice production through farm mechanisation and improved technology for young farmers in the state.
He explained that the project, which covers productivity and profitability for the beneficiaries, would reduce time cost and post-harvest losses through the use of thresher.
According to Sidi: “the farmers field day enable us the opportunity to showcase successes recorded in the last three months of the training of youths and empowerment of the Rice farmers in Kano. We have equipped the youths with requisite knowledge to render advice to rice farmers on right input and fertilizer application.
“AfricaRice is giving the supports under the Support to Agricultural Research for Development on Strategic Commodities in Africa and the intervention designed to enhance food and nutrition security as well as contributing to poverty reduction covers 11 countries.
“SARD-SC specifically has priority value chain for Cassava, Maize, Rice and Wheat, on sustainable basis being managed by three centers. AfricaRice manage Rice as value chain. We have International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) that takes care of cassava and maize, while International Center for Agricultural Research in the Day Areas (ICARDA) manages wheat. The five years SARD-SC projects are being funded by African Development Bank (ADB), to the tune of $86.9 million”. Dr. Sidi explained.
Country coordinator of AfricaRice Dr. Francis Nwilene urged state government to support farmers with provision of sufficient threshers to encourage massive rice production.
He allayed farmers’ fears on the circulation of adulterated seeds, noting that AfricaRice has trained seed companies with necessary technology to produce recommended improved seeds.