RIFAN to register 150,000 Niger rice farmers, cultivate 200,000 hectares

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No fewer  than  150, 000 rice farmers would  be registered in Niger state  to cultivate 200, 000 hectares  of land  approved by the Central  Bank  of  Nigeria  (CBN) for 2021 planting  season, the Niger state  coordinator  of Rice Farmers Association  of  Nigeria  (RIFAN), Alhaji Usman Idris Makanta, has said.

Makanta spoke weekend in Minna when receiving  two  awards  of Jagaban Mainoma and Haske Mainoma  conferred on him by  the Women Rice Farmers  Association  of  Nigeria  and Youth Rice Farmers  Association  of  Nigeria. 

He said:  “Last dry season, we have been able to capture 42, 000 rice farmers to cultivate  77,000 hectares  of  land . This  season, the Central  Bank  of  Nigeria  (CBN) has approved 200, 000 hectares  of  land  for  rice production and we are going to register about 150, 000 farmers to cultivate  the  land approved  by  CBN.”

He assured that  more women  and  youth  would  be  registered  for rice  farming  this season, adding  that  the country  can only defeat  hunger  and  insecurity  with  more focus on agriculture,  especially  in rice production. 

He said: “Agriculture  can  rescue the nation  from economic  downturn,  insecurity  and  hunger. Rice farming is more than gold and that is the reason  we are encouraging  more women  and youth  to participate  in it. The initiative has also  helped  in reducing  unemployment  of youth who now have  brighter  future.”

Presenting the award  of Jagaban Mainoma to Alhaji Makanta,  the Niger  state chairperson of  the Nigeria Association of Women in Agriculture,  Mrs. Helen Shaba,  said over 5,000 women are engaged in rice farming in the state.

She added that  women  farmers  have decided  to  honour Alhaji  Makanta  with  the  Jagaban Mainorma  in recognition  of  his immense  contributions  to the  development  of  agriculture  in Niger state  and the  nation  in  general. 

The Chairman  of  the  Youth  Farmers  Association  of  Nigeria  in Niger  state,  Kabiru Mohammed  who presented the Haskell Norma award, commended  the RIFAN coordinator  for his encouragement  to  youth to take to farming, particularly rice production. 

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