By Lola SERIKI- IDAHOSA, Kaduna
Kano state government is refocusing on local rice production as part of the Federal government’s resolve to achieve self – sufficiency in its production and to reduce over dependence on oil for revenue.
The state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who disclosed this while inspecting rice fields at Kadawa in Garun Malam local government area of the state therefore assured that agricultural extension services would be provided to the farmers to improve efficiency in all facets of agricultural activities across the rice value chain.
He also stated that the government would link Small holder rice farmers to processors to ensure increased production and to bridge the gap between production and consumption by raising the utilization capacity of existing rice mills in the country.
“With the gradual decline in oil prices worldwide, our best option is to focus on agriculture, especially the production of wheat and rice so that we can create jobs and generate money to address development issues”, the governor maintained.
Dr. Ganduje noted that Kano has vast agricultural potentials maintained rice and wheat are two crops which the state has comparative advantage and which if properly harnessed would create wealth, adding that now is the time for the state to attain economic greatness by investing in their production.
To address the problem of finance facing the farmers, the governor recalled that the state government recently provided a guarantee of N1.5 billion for the successful implementation of the State Rice Development Project, stressing that high quality inputs and other implements would be provided to ensure success of the scheme.
The governor, who used the visit to launch sale of fertilizer to the farmers urged them to take advantage of extension services being offered by the state agricultural agencies to improve their yields and to mitigate risks.
“I have also directed KNARDA to post out all the over 700 Extension Workers so that they can advise and guide the farmers on how to get maximum yield and that they should stay with the farmers in their areas but not to be shuttling from Kano to the villages daily thereby losing productive man hours”, Ganduje stressed.