Bayelsa Rice Farmers Seek Partners To Exploit Potentials
Apparently frustrated by lack of funding and government slow approach to farming in the state, the Bayelsa state chapter of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, RFAN, is seeking foreign partners to produce rice in commercial quantity in the state.
State chairman of the association, Mr. Ezekiel-Simeon Ogbianko, who disclosed this in Yenagoa said the association has acquired over 40,000 hectares of land for rice farming.
“We want to launch our website, and need international partners, who are professionals in agriculture to come because the parcel of land we acquired is enormous. We need those who know the value of agriculture to come and partner with us to produce rice in Bayelsa state,” he said.
He said they acquired 5,000 hectares of land in each of the eight local government areas of the state, so that every local government will have enough rice for local consumption and for export adding that they were waiting for funding they had applied from the Bank of Agriculture to fully go into commercial farming.
Ogbianko, however, disclosed that they were facing the challenge of accessing the areas, where they acquired land due to the peculiar nature of the terrain.
“But we are facing some challenges, being that our terrain is difficult for us to access the area where we acquired these lands because we have a virgin forest. It’s not like in the North where you can use fire to clear the land. Here we use motor saw or bulldozer to enable to do clearing,” he said.
The chairman added that they have no mills to process their rice after harvest, saying that is another bone in their neck.
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