The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Jigawa Chapter, on Tuesday said it would produce 3.5 million tonnes of rice in the 2018 wet and dry planting seasons.
The state Chairman of RIFAN, Alhaji Adamu Maigoro, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Hadejia, Jigawa.
Maigoro was optimistic that the target would be met, considering the state and Federal Government’s numerous interventions in rice farming.
“The production target of 3.5 million tonnes of rice is realistic given the enormous interventions of the state and Federal Governments. We have never experienced this in the past.
“The state government has identified over 6,000 rice farmers in clusters and provided farm inputs such as improved seeds, fertiliser, irrigation pumps and pesticides, among others, to them.
“The Federal Government, on the other hand, also provided similar inputs to over 11,500 farmers under the dry season edition of the Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme,’’ he said.
According to him, 40,000 registered rice farmers are to benefit from the wet season edition soon.
“With the availability of the inputs and the new farming techniques introduced, rice production in Jigawa has increased by 300 per cent to 400 per cent because rice farmers are being encouraged to cultivate more.’’
“About 80 to 100 bags of rice are now being harvested per hectare, contrary to the 30 to 35 bags harvested per hectare in the past using the local seeds.
“It will interest you to know that some of our members now plant rice thrice in a year due to these unprecedented support we are receiving,” Maigoro said.
The chairman said there were over 500,000 rice farmers in the state, saying that the major rice cultivation areas included: Auyo, Hadejia, Kirikasamma, Guri, Jahun, Ringim, Taura and Miga.
Maigoro said that `Dan Maude Rice’ and `Three Brothers’ were the two biggest rice processing plants in the state, noting that there were four smaller ones in Ringim, Gujungu, Birnin kudu and Hadejia.