Osun govt. initiates plans to boost rice production – Official
The Osun Government has initiated some measures that will enable the state to produce rice in commercial quantities.
Dr Bukola Aluko, the Coordinating Director, Osun Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Youths Engagement, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Osogbo on Friday
He said that the state government, through a Public-Private Participation (PPP) arrangement, had engaged some private investment experts to oversee the management of the rice production initiative in the state.
“The state government is engaging some experts through PPP to produce rice in commercial quantities; in the long run, we will be supplying rice to neighbouring states.
“These experts would handle the cultivation, harvest and processing of rice, and they would also manage the packaging and marketing of the produce,’’ he said
Besides, Aluko said that through the PPP project, many job opportunities would be created, as the experts would establish rice mills and collaborate with local farmers on rice cultivation.
He stressed that this was part of the agricultural policy of Gov. Rauf Aregbesola’s administration, aimed at making Osun one of the biggest rice producing states in the country.
Commenting on the government plans, Mr Afolabi Kayode, the Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Osun, said that rice farmers had been engaged for the rice production venture of the government.
He noted that the government’s programme would transform rice production processes in the state.
“At present, our rice farmers adopt manual rice processing procedures to process and bag rice after harvests, but with the involvement of the investors and experts, the processes will now be mechanised.
“We have few farmers cultivating rice in the state but their rice processing and marketing methods are crude; this has always discouraged other farmers from engaging in rice cultivation.
“But with the nascent efforts of the state government to expand rice cultivation and provide modern mills for rice processing, more farmers would be attracted and encouraged to go into rice production,’’ Kayode added.