Rice farming is set to receive a boost in Katsina and Jigawa states following the collaborative effort of Dangote Rice Limited and a South Korean organisation, Saemul Undong Foundation.
This came as Dangote Rice has made arrangements to buy rice paddies produced by selected farmers from the two states at competitive prices to encourage them.
This was made known during a five- day second phase training pro- gramme for rice farmers selected from communities of Raddawa and Makera in Matazu and Dutsinma council areas of Katsina State respec- tively, and selected farmers from Jigawa State.
The Country Director, Saemaul Undong Foundation, Mr Lee Kyungbok said sustainability and continuity is a very important goal in this program.
“This training is not a one time session and we will continue to train the farmers till they become expert in rice planting and production,” he said. “We will extend the training to other farming communities in Nigeria.”
A technical partner overseeing training of the farmers, Dr Nehemiah Danbaba, stated this while speaking with The Guardian at the Katsina Rice Research and Development Centre, Makera, Dutsinma.
Danbaba, who doubles as chief research officer, National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), said participants were trained on modern rice farming methods that include land preparation, seedlings development and transplanting.
A third phase, he said, would commence before harvest, and would deal with the aspect of buying over the farm produce by Dangote Rice.
He said participating farmers were expected to train other farmers in their various communities so that modern rice farming method would be adopted for increased yield, among other benefits.
Speaking, Danbaba said, “After the first training, farmers went back, prepared their land in the modern way under our supervision. They raised their seedlings and trans- planted them by themselves.
“We are now reviewing the challenges they experienced, what are the successes and way forward, where we can go from that point.” He said the foundation “has put in place strategy to put about six to seven industrial boreholes in Raddah community to help supply water for irrigation” of rice farms during the dry season.
He added that dormant irrigation water channels would be opened up at Makera, which would supply water from a dam in the area for irrigation of rice farms.
He added that the trainees were expected to train hundreds of other famers at their various communi- ties, with no fewer than 32,000 farmers being targeted in the select- ed communities.
Source: The Guardian