The Delta State government has revealed that it has perfected plans to tap into the robust ecology of the State and is set to grow truly Nigerian rice that would compete favorably with rice variants all over the world.
This was disclosed by the National President, National Cooperative for Commercial and Industrial Agriculture (NACCIA), Barr. Felix Okonti, after an inspection tour to the proposed site for the planting of the rice in Illah, and a courtesy call by him and representatives of Grow Corp. and Thathrift Company Ltd. (ENOX Thailand), on the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Ben Agamah, at his office in the Ministry’s headquarters, in Asaba.
The courtesy visit, he revealed was to showcase the special breed of rice which they intend to bring into the country and said that the state had been chosen given the suitability of the state’s ecology to the florishing of the special breed of rice.
He further revealed that the rice growing project, which was fully supported by the State Government and anchored in the state Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, would be in partnership with Grow Corp. and Thathrift Company Ltd. (ENOX Thailand), which are leading companies in the rice research and cultivation industry and added that with the coming of the companies, rice growing would find a strong base in Delta STate.
According to him, NACCIA was premised on aggregating small holder farmers, who farm on a subsistence scale, into clusters to enable them own farms.
Okonti said that the initiative the was a long term project would also provide employment opportunities for the populace; farmers would be supervised, trained and given input, quality seeds, fertilizer and mechanisation.
“We are lifting hundreds of thousands persons out of poverty, impacting them with skills and they would become very useful to themselves” Okonti said.
In her remarks, President of the Grow Corp. Ltd., Halimatu Sadiya Ali, explained that the company was considering a species of rice that would take only 95 days from planting to harvesting.
This, she said, would go a long way to provide enough high breed quality rice for the Delta State market and beyond.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Ben Agamah said Delta State had a robust ecology for agriculture. “We have wetland and the hinterland that is good for rice production. Delta State is the pride of Nigeria as you have the opportunity of knowing the whole of Nigeria here.”
He also said that the initiative was one that was dear to the heart of the State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, and that he was particularly happy about their presence in the State.