Expert urges investment in farm inputs to accelerate exportation of farm produce


 An Agriculturalist, Mr Bright Okwu on Tuesday said that investment on improved seedlings and farm inputs would accelerate the exportation of Nigerian produced rice to other countries.
Okwu, National President, Small Holders Farmers and Youth Network of Nigeria spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos against the announcement that Nigerian farmers would start exporting rice in two years.
NAN recalls that Mr Isaac Okoroafor, Acting Director, Corporate Communication, Central Bank of Nigeria, had disclosed this on Saturday in Lokoja, Kogi.
Okoroafor had said that out of the 6.1 million tonnes of rice needed to feed Nigerians, farmers in Kebbi contributed over one million tonnes.
Okwu said that going by these indices, investment in the sector, especially by the government, would lead to self sufficiency and change the narratives within a short while.
``Giving special attention to the distribution of improved seedlings and farm inputs is all we need to be a major supplier in rice farming in the region.
`` It is achievable because I have worked with rural farmers and have an idea of what they are capable of doing if encouraged,’’ he said.
Okwu said that there was need for government to muster enough political will to take some certain decisions that would ensure that the businesses of farmers were sustained.
``Government should be more involved in the process of buying farm commodities that are over produced and carried to various storage facilities and kept as buffer.
``I believe that if the government and Nigerians can sustain this approach, over time, the country will gradually progress to being reputably reckoned with rice production,’’ Okwu said. 

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