By Okon Edem
Prof. Bola Okuneye, an International Consultant, FADAMA III Additional Financing (AF), has said that Nigeria would begin exportation of rice in the next five years.
Okuneye spoke on Wednesday at Amanuke, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra, when the FADAMA III AF team visited its rice farmland to ascertain level of progress at the site.
“I have carefully studied the development and I am convinced that with what I have seen, Nigeria will compete among other nations of the world in rice production.
“If only this community can produce 4.5 metric tonnes per hectare, compared to other assessment we have carried out in other states, then there is a lot of development in rice production in our country.
“I could see that with more encouragement, they can expand from the present stage and when they continually used the improved practices as they are taught, it will increase their yield.
Mr Okafor Hyacinth, the Ogboududu Cluster President said they were currently cultivating 90 hectares with 10 members in each hectare.
“Our last harvest was 2 to 3metric tonnes per hectare, but with the kind of training we are receiving, our productivity is going higher.
“According to the analysis of facilitators, we will produce 4.5metric tonnes in our next harvest.’’
Dr Ben Albert, the team leader, commended the farmers for their commitment, and assured them of addressing challenges they might face in the course of production.
He explained that the supervision mission was aimed at evaluating and ascertaining their progress and other challenges.