Delta Set To Boost Agriculture

Plans 300 Hectares Of Rice
Also To Install Six Rice Mills
BY VICTORIA ODIA
DELTA State Government says it would crop 300 hectares of rice in the upland and swamp areas of the state under the SAWAH Rice Technology Pilot Project.
In addition, it would install six rice mills, each of sixteen tons milling capacity per day in the three senatorial districts of the state, to bring milling facilities closer to rice farmers.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Barrister Misan Ukubeyinje, spoke on behalf of the state government at the Farmers Field Day for the SAWAH rice technology pilot project celebration at Omeligboma, Oshimili South Local Government Council.
The commissioner who was represented at the ceremony by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Jonathan Ochonogor explained that rice is a staple food which is highly consumed in Nigeria by household, however, noted that the country cannot produce enough for local consumption.
According to him, these supply or demand gaps have cost the country several billions of naira annually in importation and therefore explore every possible avenue to boost the local production of the commodity.
He commended the federal government for taking steps in its transformation agenda to boost indigenous rice production and planned ban on importation of rice by 2015.
Explaining further, he said the state government introduced the Sawah rice technology project to complement the efforts of the Federal Government towards achieving self sufficiency in rice production.
The commissioner who was conducted round the Sawah pilot farm by the farmers was called upon and channel their problem of inadequate water to crop the product to appropriate quarters in government..
Earlier, the General Manager advised farmer to adopt it because of the advantage of reduced input cost and higher yield output for self-sufficiency in rice production.
The General Manager, Agriculture Development Programme (ADP), Oshimili North Local Government Council, Mr. Awiliki said the occasion of the farmers field day was to enable them cross fertilize ideas and experiences inherent in the Sawah rice method which enables production to be cultivated in a prepared swamp with a very high plant density that leads to high yields.

Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan (middle), being conducted round one of the 10 new Model Nursery and Primary Schools in the state under construction in Asaba by Engr. Abel Adeleke (right) and Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Prof. Patrick Muboghare.