Since the pronouncement by Rochas Okorocha, Imo State governor, that his administration has mass produced rice called “Imo Rice International,” a cross section of the people including farmers have challenged the Governor to show to the world the location and size of the rice farm in the state.
Speaking with journalists in Owerri, a group of people who claim to be farmers in the state, debunked the claim by the Governor, insisting that they did not know any area in the state where the state government had sponsored massive rice production.
They said that the state government has not done anything tangible to encourage local farmers in the production of rice and wondered where the said “Imo Rice International” was being produced.
Speaking through Chief Ibezim Ndionye, their Coordinator, the local farmers said that their reaction came, following the declaration in December last year by the state Governor, that the state government has produced and introduced an Imo indigenous rice, known as “Imo Rice International.”
The Group urged the state government to fashion out a good and workable agricultural policy as agriculture should be the main stay of every state in Nigeria.
They said that government’s huge investment in agriculture would go a long way in enhancing the economy of any state, pointing out that governments in the country should show more and genuine concern on agricultural production.
Chief Ndionye believed that government’s support to local farmers through the provision of farm seedlings and implements would help ensure food sufficiency and export.
He explained that already, farmers in the state have organised themselves in a way that government would find it very easy to partner with them in food production.
He however said that the state government might have performed creditably well in other sectors but have failed the people in the agricultural sector.