Rice: Bayelsa RIFAN acquires 60, 000 hectares
The Bayelsa chapter of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) said on Wednesday that it had acquired 60,000 hectares for cultivation this year.
Mr Ezekiel Ogbianko, the Chairman of the association, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Otuan, Bayelsa, that the land was acquired to ensure the country’s self-sufficiency in rice production.
Ogbianko said clearing and preparation had begun on some of the land.
“In Ofoni and Ayamasa in Sagbama Local Government Area, the contractors are on site and work is ongoing; we have concluded plans to engage some youths in rice production.
“We have also registered a lot of farmers in clusters. There are over 6,000 farmers and a lot of them have undergone training to equip themselves on modern farming techniques.
“Our target now is to meet the three planting seasons annually because the state environment favours rice production.
“You know, Bayelsa has swampy environment. We need no irrigation for us to cultivate and that is why we have been working hard to ensure that our state is recognised as one that produces rice.”
He told NAN that some hectares were also acquired in Oweikorohga and Otuan in Southern-Ijaw Local Government, adding that the communities had been contacted so that the real farmers could be carried along.
He urged youths to avail themselves of the opportunity provided by the project.