Rice farmer in Rivers decries high cost of production
A rice farmer in Rivers, Mrs Ann Amos, says the high cost of rice production in the state may adversely affect Federal Government’s plans to ensure self-sufficiency in rice production.
Amos, who said this in an interview with told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Monday, said that the cost of the required inputs for rice farming had doubled.
She said that she hired a land harrowing machine from the state Ministry of Agriculture to plow her 12-hectre farm at the cost of N35,000.
She, however, conceded that she did not use a land harrowing machine during 2016 farming season.
Besides, Amos said that a litre of herbicide (chemical) now cost N5,000, while its cost was N3,500 last year.
She said that her rice farm, which she cultivated two months ago, was now due for spraying, adding, however, that the herbicide was not available in Rivers.
Amos said that her enquiries revealed that the price of a litre of the herbicide in Ebonyi was N5, 000, adding that weeds had somewhat overtaken the farm.
She estimated that N60,000 would not be enough to spray the farm, excluding the cost of labour.
She, nonetheless, noted that the use of herbicide would be more cost-effective than manual weeding of the farm.
Amos said the cost of engaging a labourer for the manual weeding of the farm was between N2,000 and N2,500 per day, while it was between N1,500 and N2,000 in 2016 farming season.
She said that she had planted different rice species with 120-day and 90-day maturity periods.