A national wet season rice planting initiative to empower women and youth across the country has been launched.
The rice transformational programme aims to empower clusters of women and youth agripreneurs, farming together on contiguous arable farmland to produce high quality and quantity rice paddy for processing during the wet season farming.
The pilot phase of the project launched in Taraba State will create employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for 1,000 women and youths.
Samuel Oluwafemi Adeshina, Project Coordinator, Fevick Resources told journalists in Abuja that the new wet season rice farming project will link farmers to new technologies and high yield seedlings.
“We can derive six to seven metric tonns of rice per hectare by introducing new varieties of very high yielding seedlings.”
He explained that the variety of rice seedlings will be tested to determine the ruggedness, virility and flood resistance of the variety that was developed to see how this variant of rice will survive in submerged areas during serious floods and ozone depletion.
Under the project, three types of funding that will be available to participants include the provision of NPK and UREA fertilizers; seeds variety Faro 66 and 67; and credit to the farmers to cover labour and services.
This according to Samuel Oluwafemi Adeshina, will cover “land preparation, harvesting, threshing and aggregation.
“Participants will be selected and clustered as a registered geo-cooperative having its own corporate governance structure on contiguous farmland.
“They will be ultimately responsible for supervising, managing their respective plots as well as working together as a geo-cooperative,” Samuel Oluwafemi Adesina said.
In addition, agriprenuers and farming communities will be trained on improved rice growing techniques with emphasis on selection of rice seeds varieties, optimal water usage, fertilization, plant protection and post-harvesting.
Training will also cover the development of leadership, business, entrepreneurial and technical skills covering farm machineries and irrigation.
Chief Binuga Gargea, the Gargea Donga said “the project has gingered our farmers to be up and doing, to embrace the program and take to rice production so that they will not be idle in the wet season farming and they will equally be busy during the dry season farming too and that will actually fill their pockets.”
Source: Nigerian Tribune