By Shuaibu Tatu
Thailand’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Wattana Kunwangse, says his country will provide technical expertise in production for rice farmers in Kebbi.
Kunwangse gave the assurance on Friday when he paid a courtesy call on the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Mera, in Argungu.
“The aim of my visit to Kebbi State is to explore ways of promoting the development of the rice value chain via the training of rice farmers in new methods of rice production which we have in our country,’’ he said.
The envoy reiterated the commitment of the Thai government to train farmers and officials of the state Ministry of Agriculture in new methods of rice farming.
“Thailand’s government will sponsor rice farmers to acquire agricultural training to boost their production; our focus is to develop agriculture, particularly rice production in Kebbi State,’’ he added.
Kunwangse stressed that the bi-lateral agreement between Thailand and Kebbi State in this regard would be mutually beneficial.
He however, called for more commitment in efforts to actualise the objectives of the agreement.
Speaking, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Attahiru Maccido, said that “the state is a leading rice producer in the country, courtesy of the Anchor Borrowers Programme launched by President Muhammad Buhari in November 2015.”
Maccido said the programme had raised the production capacity of rice farmers in the state from 300,000 tonnes of rice per annum to over two million tonnes.
He pledged the state government’s readiness to partner with the Thai government or any relevant agency in efforts to develop the rice value chain in the state.
The Emir of Argungu, Mera, commended the government of Thailand and the Kebbi State Government for the collaboration aimed at boosting rice production in the state.