Gov. Ortom tasks Benue farmers on massive rice cultivation
Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue on Tuesday urged people of the state to go into massive cultivation of rice and other crops to boost food production and their personal income.
Ortom made the call, while inspecting the clearing of land for dry season farming at Agasha, Guma Local Government Area of the state.
The land was prepared solely for the cultivation of rice by the Committee on Dry Season Rice Production of FG/IFAD-Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), Agasha Cluster.
The governor noted that the state had the capacity to produce the largest quantity of rice in the world as well as ensure food security for the country.
Ortom also assured the farmers that government would continue to provide the enabling environment for agriculturalists to thrive for the overall benefit of the state and the country in general.
He stressed the need for farmers to apply the modern agricultural technology to enhance food production as was obtainable in developed nations.
The governor also commended IFAD’s programmes, which were aimed at supporting farmers cultivating rice and cassava.
He warned herdsmen against encroaching on farm lands for grazing in the interest of peace between them and farmers.
Earlier, the leader of Agasha Cluster, Mr Terwase Pav, told the governor that the cluster was preparing 500 hectares to cultivate rice during the current dry season.
Pav expressed regret over their inability to pool enough resources so as to cultivate 2,000 hectares of rice.
He appealed to the state government to support their endeavour so they could achieve their target, saying that they were determined to tackle the challenges of food insecurity.
Benue state has been described as the food basket of Nigeria as nature has endowed it with arable land and the people’s major occupation is agriculture.