• To train 32,000 farmers
No fewer than 32,000 rice farmers in Katsina and Jigawa States are to be trained in modern rice farming methods to help improve production and check importation of the commodity into the country.
The training is a collaborative effort between the Katsina State Government, Dangote Industries Limited, and a South Korean organisation, Saemul Undong Foundation.
The event which held at the Katsina Rice Research and Development Centre, Makera, Dutsinma Local Government Area, was declared open by Governor Aminu Bello Masari.
Masari, represented by his Special Adviser on Agriculture, Abba Abdullahi, said before now, Nigeria was consuming N1 billion worth of rice daily, with most of the commodity imported.
He, however, said the figure had been greatly slashed through government’s Anchor Borrowers Programme, with the country producing about 70 per cent of the rice it now consumes.
The governor added that with the country’s plan to become self-sufficient in rice production and end its importation, the need for such training for rice farmers in the state had become a necessity.
Masari said the training was in line with state government’s policy of supporting local farmers to improve their farm produce, even as he assured of support for the organisers to achieve desired objective.
The South Korean organisation’s country representative, Kyungbok Lee, said the decision to help selected rice farmers in Nigeria to improve production of the commodity was because of what his country had experienced after the Korean War.
According to Lee, his country became one of the poorest countries in the world after the war, and a decision was taken to improve the agricultural sector of the economy, especially rice production.
“We were able to move from being one of the poorest countries in the world to be among the major nations of the world after we developed our rice farming capacity.
“It is the process by which we were able to achieve this that we want to show selected farmers in Katsina and Jigawa States so that they can also train others in their communities for improved
The five-day training would see 70 rice farmers undergo training in the first instance, then they would each train 100 other farmers in their localities.
The process, according to the organizers, would be replicated until 32,000 farmers are trained in modern rice farming in both Jigaiwa and Katsina States.