Farmers want power tiller machine to boost rice production in Ebonyi

Farmers in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi have called on the Federal Government and FADAMA to provide power tiller machine to help boost rice production in the state.
Mr Ukpai Patrick, the Local Government Chairman, made the appeal when FADAMA team paid them a visit on Wednesday in Ndiagu Echara.
Patrick stated that rice farmers in his locality have many challenges among which were power tiller for clearing farmland to increase rice production.
"Farmers are still using the manual way of land clearing and planting, which is too stressful and delaying the farming processes. We need this modern technology.
"Power tiller is a versatile machine primarily used for the preparation of land for farming operations. The machine can be used for tilling, ploughing, weeding, pumping, leveling, ridging and so on.
"One of the advantages of this machine is that, it can be operated hands free with a remote. Farmers can operate it at their comfort of not stepping into the field at a safe distance of 100 meters.
``If this modern technology is provided to rice farmers, they will be able to meet up with the crop Calendar year and avoid spending time and money on manual farming,’’ he said.
He said that the intervention of FADAMA in the community had helped them but they are seriously in need of power tiller to increase their production and food sufficiency.
Patrick added that farmers during the last farming season had an average of 5.8 to 6.2 tons per hectare of rice production in the state, adding that this was a plus for them.
"We have farmers that are ready to join FADAMA but the clearing process has been their constraints.
“We need FADAMA support to increase our productivity on rice," he said.
He further requested for early disbursement of farm inputs and extension service to enable farmers start farm work on good time.
"We need capacity building on group dynamics, record keeping and more production assets.
"The project should also serve the rice farmers best by giving them improved seeds for high yield suited to their farm locations," he added.
He commended the FADAMA III Additional Financing team led by Dr Adetunji Oredipe, World Bank Task Team Leader (TTL), for their continued support to the community.
In his response, Oredipe commended farmers in the community for their efforts, saying, ``despite the difficult condition they found themselves, they still produce.’’
Oredipe promised to look into their challenges since they had shown a sense of readiness to perform.


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