THE Niger State Government says it is collaborating with the Japan International Development Corporation Agency (JICA), and the U.S. Agency for International Development to increase rice production in the state.
Alhaji Baba Madugu, Managing Director of the Agricultural and Mechanisation Development Authority made the disclosure in Minna on Wednesday at an Eid-el-Kabir lunch, organised by the state’s Ministry of Agriculture for journalists.
“This administration is committed to farmers’ productivity to raise their income and uplift their standard of living through rice production,” Madugu said. He added that the development partners were working with the government to implement the Rice Post Harvest Processing and Marketing Pilot scheme to boost agriculture and ensure rural development.
He said that government recently distributed 100 motorcycles to agricultural extension workers in the state to resuscitate extension services. Alhaji Ahmed Matane, the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said that government’s determination to regenerate its agricultural sector was aimed at boosting economic activities.
Matane said that government had purchased more than 100 tractors and floated a one billion naira fund for commercial agricultural credit scheme in the state. He said that government had provided agricultural inputs, including fertilizer and improved seeds under the Growth Enhancement Scheme for farmers in the state. He advised the beneficiaries to use the motorcycles for the purpose they were meant for and not for other purposes.