The Niger State government has appealed to Rice farmers in the state to embrace dry season farming to mitigate the effects of the 2022 perennial flood that destroyed their farmlands and avert food shortage in the state and the nation at large.
Coordinator, Federal Government/International Fund for Agriculture Development, FG/IFAD, Value Chain Development Programme, VCDP, Dr. Matthew Ahmed gave the advice during the training of farmers on Good Agronomic Practices on Dry Season Rice Production in Bida, Katcha, Mokwa, Edati and Borgu LGs in Rabba, Mokwa LG of the state.
He explained that the flood destroyed a lot of rice farms and hence the decision to aggressively train farmers on dry season farming to ensure higher productivity per hectare for food security in the state and the country.
The Niger coordinator of IFAD noted,” this dry season farming is a massive one, we are pursuing it aggressively if we don’t do that, there is going to be a food shortage. This could lead to a lot of crisis as a result of the flood during rainy the season.”
” And if the farmers apply the new knowledge they get from this training at the end of production season farmers, they will be harvesting over 12 metric tons per hectare”.
Prof. Job Nmadu an Agronomist/Consultant to rice farmers in the state from the Federal University of Technology, FUT, Minna, giving an overview of the training said the exercise was designed to build their capacity on Climate Smart Farm Management, Post-harvest handling, decision making, among others to ensure a bumper harvest.
Also, Prof. Abigail Jirgi FUT Minna an advocate for women’s empowerment especially in agriculture, said the dry season rice farming training will assist women and other farmers come out of poverty and boost the nation’s economy.
She noted,” educating them on things like this will help by boosting economic activities. We hope this training will help the women and farmers double or triple their outputs”.
Some of the trainees across the four benefiting LGAs commended VCDP for the training describing it as a timely intervention to boost their harvest during the dry season to reduce hardship and cushion their losses due to flood disasters.
Hannah Yisa, one of the trainees from Mokwa LG described the effort of IFAD as timely in assisting rice farmers to get more yield per hectare to reduce their sufferings due to last year’s flood.
Abubakar Mohammed from Edati LG expressed joy at the training, particularly on right spacing, timely planting and application of fertilizer on his rice farm, saying he will step down the knowledge gathered to other clusters of rice farmers in his council.
Embrace dry season rice farming to reduce effects of floods – FG to farmers