Rice Farmers in Bayelsa State has confirmed the acquisition of over 40, 000 hectares of land in the efforts to boost local cultivation of rice in the state.
Mr Ezeikel Ogbianko,the State Chairman of the Rice Farmers Association,who confirm the development in Yenagoa, said the lands so far acquired were located in eight communities including Okpotuwari, Orubiri, Olodani, Ayamasa, Ofoni, Okordia, Toluebini and Amassoma in Ogbia,Sagbama and Yenagoa Local Government Areas of the State.
Ogbianko said the acquisition of the lands and cultivation were necessary and in line with the federal government plans to achieve sufficient rice for the citizenry.
“Though, we have lands, cutting across the eight local government areas of the state, but right now, we have 40, 000 hectares of land in eight communities, which we have collected power of attorneys.
“I believe before the end of January,2016 we will swing into action for clearing and cultivation, so, we will continue to take it step by step to ensure that we get the power of attorneys for the lands in all the LGAs,” he stated.
The Chairman called on stakeholders in the state to support the move to ensure that Bayelsa was one the states that produces rice in the country.
“We can no longer depend on oil; the era of oil and gas has come and gone; I want you to partner and support the federal government to move the nation forward.
“There is money in agriculture if can work, the youth should shun militancy and cultism in the land and key into the RIFAN’s project of rice farming, which has come to stay in Bayelsa,” he said.
Mr Moses Tiger, Acting Paramount Ruler of Okpotuwari Community, Southern-Ijaw Local Government Area, said the people were ready to embrace the project.
Tiger, a Farmer, however pledged support to mobilise the youth to ensure that the rice farming business was actualised in the area when cultivation kicked-off.
“We have given out our own portion of land and we will work with RIFAN for the betterment of our people,” he said.
It would be recalled that the association had embarked on site visit in the state in preparation to flag-off rice plantation for the new season.