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Association solicits govt partnership to boost rice production

AfDB, Sasakawa Africa train rice farmers on improved yields, soil fertility

The Association of Rice Producers, Processors, Millers and Marketers in Nigeria (NARPPMMAN) said that, in order to increase rice production, attract investment, encourage local consumption and to address food security, Governments at all levels must take drastic steps to ensure farmers have access farming tools early enough.

Abel Jilemsam, the Nasarawa state Chairman of NARPPMMAN, made the appeal at the inauguration of the association’s Local Government Areas Executive, held in Lafia, the state capital.

Jilemsam then called for partnership with Nasarawa State government in areas of tractors, tillers, threshers, planters, millers, destoners, colour sorters among other inputs to enable them boost production and create rice pyramid in the state.

According to him, creating a rice pyramid in the state was achievable, due to fertile soil that is available for farming activities in the state.

He added that the association would remain competitive locally and internationally, and would continue to draw the government’s attention to the challenges faced by value chain players, in order to attract funding from government, private financiers.

“As an organisation in the rice value chain, we are determined to harmonise our experiences in all areas of success and challenges to build massively to move rice commodity to an enviable stage to create the desired impact on the link between the value chain players from down to upstream.

“This will create specialisation among the actors, make the operational structure seamless, as well as create access to sustainable funding, structured market, fair pricing and a guaranteed off-take.

Read also: WACOT Rice Limited boosts Nigeria’s food security, distributes agri-inputs to farmers in Kebbi

“NARPPMMAN is the new hub in the agricultural sector aimed at showcasing all the potentials in the rice chain. Let us therefore join hands to develop modern agriculture as the association has a lot to offer,” he said.

Jilemsam then commended the state Governor for driving agricultural policies aimed at developing modern agriculture in the state.

He however, appealed to the governor, to extend his rural development programme to the construction of bridges across river Wuse in Azara Development Area, Rutu river linking Doma and Kokona local governments, as well as construction of Gidan Gambo-Gwayaka-Gallo-Mankwar-Jibiyal rural roads in Lafia East Development Area to aid transportation of farm produce to market places.

Also speaking, the National President of the association, Mustafa Ahmadu, represented by the Vice Chairman in-charge of North Central, Ishaku Samaila, appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for encouraging rice farmers for optimal production.

The national chairman also appreciated Governor Sule for the support given to the association and requested more support from the state government.

Responding, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Water Resources, Nuhu Oshafu, said the state government would continue to seek areas of collaboration with the association and appealed for a more robust network.

The commissioner who was also represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Nuhu Bunu, “this is because the vision and development objectives of the government of Engr A.A Sule in Nasarawa State is aimed at giving agriculture its rightful place as the mover of the state economy.

“It is on this background and commitment that the state government signed an MoU with FAD/ FGN for the state participation in the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) where N88 million was released as the state counterpart fund to that effect,” he said.

He, therefore, congratulated the members of the association for coming under one umbrella for the purpose of rice production and urged them to sustain the tempo.