Rice farmers in Kwara State have called on the federal government to dredge the River Niger to increase harvest circles in the state.
Most of the farmers now do only two season farming, rainy season and irrigation for rice production in the state.
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Speaking with Daily Trust on Sunday, the chairman of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Kwara State chapter, Ahmed Saba, said the move will increase rice production in Kwara and Nigeria as a whole tremendously.
“If the River Niger is dredged, it will afford us the opportunity to do three circles of rice farming per year in Nigeria instead of the present one each in dry and rainy season. It means we can have two dry season farming and one in the rainy season.
“Aside from taking care of the perennial flooded and washing away of rice farms, the dredging of the River Niger will go a long way in boosting rice production in Nigeria through all the states that will benefit,” he added.
Saba said despite the accolades Kwara got from the CBN as one of the highest contributors to the national rice pyramid, what it added was about 0.1 percent of its capacity.
He called on Nigerian to insist on the consumption of local rice to boost production, feed the country and grow its GDP.