A rice seed multiplication centre has been inaugurated at Umumbo community in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State to boost rice production in the state, Afam Mbanefo, commissioner for agriculture, mechanisation, processing and export, has said.
The commissioner said the rice seed multiplication centre was set up to drive the state’s rice revolution agenda, which began in 2017.
He said that four irrigation projects were being developed by the state government in Ezira, Omasi, Ihiala and Omor to encourage all round season of farming in the state.
Mbanefo stated that other irrigation projects and 11 major roads leading to various agrarian communities were being constructed.
He said that the irrigation projects were being executed under FADAMA III, with a Central Pivot System and a sprinkler with the capacity to irrigate 100 hectares of land to support dry season farming.
Under the scheme, benefiting communities would provide land while the ministry would provide facilities like farm house, inputs, and security agents.
He expressed the state government’s commitment towards achieving its target of 600,000 metric tonnes of rice in 2018 through dry season farming, adding that the state was currently producing 350, 000 metric tonnes of rice beyond its consumption capacity of 320, 000 metric tonnes.
He said the state government had set up a special advisory agency on mechanised farming to provide farmers in the state with access to technology.
The commissioner disclosed that an agreement had been signed with Spanish engineers that constructed the facilities to operate and maintain it for one year, during which local operators would be trained to take over.
Mbanefo disclosed that with the support of the state government, over 6,000 farmers had already been assisted under the programme to embrace mechanised farming while 300 young graduates were also empowered to become farmers.