Gov. Okowa urges rice farmers to increase their productivity
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has urged rice farmers in the state to increase their productivity so as to meet the growing demand of the citizens for rice.
The governor made the call on Thursday in Akwukwu-Igbo during a town hall meeting with people of Oshimili North Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
He encouraged the farmers to put in more effort to boost their production, taking into cognizance the Federal Government’s plans to fully enforce its ban on rice importation.
Okowa particularly commended the people of Illah for their commitment toward rice production and urged them to take the business seriously.
“There are indications that the Federal Government will totally ban the importation of rice; therefore, our rice farmers should boost their production to meet with the needs of the people and benefit from likely incentives.
“We are taking the growing of rice very serious because the Federal Government may ban the importation of rice completely and rice farmers will benefit from Federal Government’s assistance.
“We are also encouraging our farmers to participate in the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which does not only provide funds for farmers but also ensures that their products get to the market,’’ he said.
Okowa, however, noted that most farmers in the state had yet to access funding from the CBN-anchored scheme due to improper documentation.
Besides, the governor said that his administration had, in the last two years, embarked on various development projects, including road constructions, across the local government areas to create links and open them up for development.
“By God’s grace, we will do a lot more, as we are doing our best to provide the needed infrastructure in different parts of the state.
“The town hall meeting is for you (citizens) to speak freely because this is an opportunity for you to contribute to governance,’’ he said.
Mr Louis Ndukwe, the Chairman of Oshimili North LGA, thanked the governor for the various road projects executed across the state, especially those in the council area.