Last year, there was some rice relief, thanks to Kebbi State growers. Now, there is hope that things will get better. More rice will be produced, according to the state’s smallholder farmers who are championing the production of the staple.
Last year, through partnership between Kebbi state and Lagos government, prices of rice dropped massively from N25, 000 to N12, 000, fulfilling the desires of many Nigerians to have rice in their homes. The Lake rice was a splendor many Nigerians savaged with pride.
The EU, in collaboration with Oxfam, is implementing a Pro Resilience Action (PROACT) Project to further increase the capacity of farmers in the state to go into rice production. The project is an EU Support to Food Security and Resilience in Northern Nigeria.
Because of the PROACT project, more farmers have embraced rice farming using modern techniques and improved inputs acquired under the project.
Already, farmers in the state have received farm inputs under the project to drive dry season farming. 6,000 bags of fertilizer have been distributed to 1,500 group of farmers in the state.
A member of the village savings and loan scheme (VSLA) in Goriyo-Damana community, Birnin Kebbi, Abubakar Hakimi, told our reporter he had already received 30 bags of fertilizers from Oxfam for dry season farming.
He said he could barely afford two bags of fertilizer until Oxfam begun distributing fertilizers to small holder farmers in the state.
Hakimi, who is into rice production, said he expects to harvest 50 bags of rice as against the 35 he harvested last year.
“We never knew how to plant rice very well and apply fertilizer to give us high yield,” he says through an interpreter with a broad smile on his face.
“The current year is more promising for rice farmers in the village’ –they have not witnessed farming with such huge produce and with less efforts too.