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Sasakawa to help C/River rice farmers boost production

The Sasakawa Africa Group has said they are in Nigeria to train small- holder farmers, assist them with inputs and boost their crop production capacity,…

The Sasakawa Africa Group has said they are in Nigeria to train small- holder farmers, assist them with inputs and boost their crop production capacity, especially rice.

The country director of the Japanese agricultural foundation, Prof Sani Miko, said this in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State during a recent visit, where he and his team met with local farmers.

He said they were supporting Nigerian rice farmers to help complement their efforts at filling the gap created by the ban on rice importation. He said their area of interest was mainly the introduction of modern technology and how to apply it for purposeful yield, as well as supply of fertilisers and practical trainings by agric experts.

In some local government areas like Ikom, Yala, Bekwara and Obubra, known to cultivate large hectares of rice, cassava and other economic crops, Sasakawa has helped to form smallholder farmers into cooperatives.

“In addition to forming different cooperatives and assisting with inputs, we went ahead to procure and donate rice milling and destoner machines to help polish local rice,’’ he said.

A beneficiary of the programme in Bekwara, James Betope said, “Some of us have milling machines which help to polish our rice. The quality of our rice has become more attractive in such a way that you cannot differentiate it from the imported ones.’’

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