The National Agricultural Land Development Agency (NALDA) has flagged off dry season farming in five states of the federation, which are Niger, Adamawa, Bauchi, Yobe and Taraba states.
Flagging off the programme in Niger State, the Executive Secretary of NALDA, Paul Ikonne, disclosed that their aim was to support the government food security plans and to promote economic diversification.
He added that over 100 farmers trained in rice irrigation farming in Paikoro council area of Niger State would be engaged in the programme, adding that to improve their crop yields, they would be using the organic fertiliser derived from the rabbit urine.
NALDA Niger State coordinator, Mr Aminu Umar, while inspecting the 417 hectares of farmland acquired by the farmers, explained that farmers were trained in irrigation rice farming and upland rice farming so as to harness the potential of River Kaduna, which is not too far from the community and improve the income of the indigent community which the indigenes initially only used for fishing before the arrival of NALDA.
He disclosed that over seventy hectares had already been ploughed with rice nursery, saying transplanting of the irrigation rice from the nursery woul soon commence.
He, however, observed that with the presence of NALDA in the community, many young farmers had indicated interest to be trained in rice planting and the handling of farm tools.