Thursday, April 18, 2024

NDDC Partners Rice Farmers On Food Security

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has partnered with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in a bid to ensure food security.

According to a statement by the NDDC Director of Corporate Affairs, Pius Ughakpoteni, the commission’s Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, stated this during a strategic meeting with a delegation of the farmers association, led by its Deputy National President, Victor Korede, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

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Ogbuku, who was represented by the NDDC Executive Director of Projects, Sir Victor Antai, said the commission was ready to partner with RIFAN to promote rice cultivation in the region.

“With the new drive in NDDC, we are ready to go into partnership with RIFAN. We have two rice mills in Elele-Alimi, Rivers State, and Mbiabet-Ikpe in Akwa Ibom State. We are interested in the smart agriculture approach of the farmers’ association.

“The NDDC Managing Director is determined to execute legacy projects which will impact positively and directly on the people of the region,” he stated.

The NDCC said it had introduced a pet programme known as Holistic Opportunities, Projects and Engagement, which had agriculture as one of its key components, in line with the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of President Bola Tinubu.

“The Project HOPE’ initiative seeks to engage youths of the region by creating employment opportunities for them. We have collated the data of the youths in the region and so many of them are interested in agriculture. The NDDC is resolute in the quest to provide food security in the Niger Delta region, and we need to engage the youths in agriculture to achieve this goal,” report said.

According to the NDDC boss, the Niger Delta region is endowed with the right ingredients for rice growing.

He stated, “The Niger Delta region, due to the arable wetlands, rainfalls and other ecological factors in its favour, provides the window to plant rice at least, twice within a farming season. Therefore, it is incumbent on us to engage the rice farmers meaningfully as they have shown a strong desire to grow more rice.

“We are trying to move away from the oil economy and the sector which can accommodate our youths in large numbers is the agricultural sector. We also want to move from subsistent agriculture to mechanised farming to harness all the opportunities that the Niger Delta region has to offer.”

Speaking during the meeting, RIFAN’s South-South Vice President, Emmanuel Anoh, said the association was set to demonstrate that local production of food in sufficient quantity is possible in the country.

He explained, “We are here to discuss partnership with the NDDC on how best the region can feed Nigeria and contribute to the President’s agenda of self-sufficiency in food production. Rice is a global staple crop eaten by every home at least, thrice a week.”

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