Emmanuel Igbaukum, the State Programme Coordinator of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) in Benue, says insecurity is hampering rice production in the state.
Igbaukum spoke at an advocacy visit to the Commissioner for Finance, Michael Oglegba, on Tuesday in Makurdi.
He lamented that insecurity had prevented Benue from taking its pride of place as the number one producer of rice in the country.
The coordinator reiterated that Benue would have been the number one producer of rice in the country if not for insecurity.
“If insecurity in the state is tackled, Benue will take the lead in the production of rice in the country. Most rice farmers in the state are living in crisis prone areas. Persistent insecurity is hampering good farming practices thereby affecting food security,” Igbaukum said.
He pointed out that through IFAD-VCDP, farmers in the state were experiencing high yield, adding that the organisation adequately trained farmers on Good Agronomic Practices (GAP) which translated into high yield.
Igbaukum said that knowledge on GAP helped in proper application of fertiliser to their crops.
He also stated that the organisation had created several opportunities to encourage the youth to accept and embrace agriculture for the overall good of the society.
Responding, Oglegba assured IFAD-VCDP of a sustained and robust partnership.