The Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje had disclosed yesterday that local rice production as improved to a tune of three million tones in one year saying that it would soon surpass indigenous demand.
The Governor who made the declaration at the Indigenous Rice Value-Chain Promotion Programme organised by the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in partnership with R-CONNECT, in Kano, attributed the development to the lofty agricultural policies of the state government, which he said, had created significant impacts on farmers post-harvest yield and capacity.
Represented by his deputy, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, the governor recalled that prior to the inception of his administration in 2015, rice production was at its lowest ebb. He noted that the state and federal governments’ intervention had upscaled the production of staple food to around 75 per cent. Ganduje explained that under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme alone, about 127,000 farmers had benefited in the state since its inception.
The governor regretted the action of critics who perpetuate falsehood to twist government policies on agriculture in the country, arguing that, “ we in the sector and the farmers know very well about the good impacts of those policies to agricultural development.”He added: “ When these programmes started, state governments were in contact with farmers to examine this change.
Associations become active which means farmers have come to identify with the policies of the government and what the government wants the farmers to do is to accept the policies and advise on how to do it best.”Ganduje pledged that his administration would continue to do its best for farmers in the areas of technology, agricultural extension and seed provision, stressing that fertilisers were no more a problem in Kano, as the state had excelled in the product manufacturing.
The governor, who described the programme as timely as it would promote local rice production and patronage in Nigeria, called on the farmers to cooperate with the apex bank and relevant loan-giving institutions to derive maximum benefits of such programmes.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, represented by the Kano State Chairman All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Alhaji Farouk Rabi’u Mudi, appreciated the state for increased rice production from 25 per cent to almost 100 per cent.“Kano State in general, in rice production, is the highest in Nigeria because over 400,000 hectares are being produced in Nigeria but 127,000 hectares are being produced in Kano alone, “ the minister justified. At the end of the programme, prizes were presented to the winners of the indigenous rice junior chef cooking competition, tagged Kano 2020.