MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE ORGANIZES TRAINING FOR RICE VALUE CHAIN AND OIL PALM FARMERS
The Delta State Government has restate its readiness to making improved disease resistant rice seeds available to farmers and empowering them in cash and kind to undertake all season rice cultivation in the State.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Austin Chikezie disclosed this at ADP Training Hall, Ibusa during a one day training organized for beneficiaries of the 2016 Rice Value Chain Development Programme by the State Government.
Hon. Chikezie stated that the State Government will assist partly in farmers land preparation and provide improved rice seeds, herbicides and fertilizers as loans.
He said that the State Government Rice Development Programme has three components which include production, processing and market linkage, saying that the production segment will serve the purpose of facilitating outgrowers’ scheme, while processing/market linkage would provide off-take and market for the produce.
The Agriculture Commissioner also stated that under the programme, the State Government is providing three multi-level Rice Processing Mills to Rice Cooperative Societies in the State which comprises of paddy thresher, pre-cleaner, steam parboiling and mechanical batch paddy rice dryer.
Others according to the Commissioner included huller, de-stoner and other ancillaries, even as he disclosed that one of the mill has been installed at Obior, Aniocha North Local Government Area while that of Agbarho and Onicha-Ukwuani will be installed before the end of February this year.
Meanwhile, a one day training workshop has been organized for selected oil palm farmers in the Oil Palm Development Programme of the State Government at Ughelli, Ughelli North Local Government Area, Songhai in Sapele Local Government Area and Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South Local Government Area.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Austin Chikezie, while declaring the workshop open stated that government has introduced the programme to assist farmers own or replant their palm plantations through the provision of elite palm seedlings, wire collars to safeguard their palms even as he stated that 220, 000 oil palm seedlings will be distributed to farmers.
He also said that the government will provide fertilizer and support for land preparation, even as he stated that farmers will pay back later the cost of seedlings, collars and fertilizer but will not pay for the cost of land preparation.
The Agriculture Commissioner stated that a total of 500 hectares of oil palm will be planted in the first phase while five (5) 1.0 ton per Hour Oil Palm Processing Mills be distributed to 5 Processors in the three Senatorial Districts of the State to enhance processing.
He urged the trainees to pay special attention to the training as it will help them tackle any challenge in future.