The Kogi government on Thursday said it would seek World Bank’s intervention in its quest to boost rice production and improve aquatic culture in the state.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oloruntoba Kehinde, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Kehinde said the state government was impressed with the success recorded by the World Bank in cassava production and its value chain under the Fadama 111 additional financing in Kogi.
He noted that the bank’s intervention would ultimately encourage rice production in Kogi and make the state one of the largest producer of rice in North Central Nigeria.
He described Kogi as “a confluence of opportunities”, blessed with rivers, fertile expanse of land and able-bodied men.
The commissioner said that areas like Ibaji, Ejiba/Omi Dam, Bassa, Koton-Karfe, Lokoja, Omala, among others, had abundance of viable farm lands for rice and aquatic culture.
“We want the World Bank to intervene in rice production and aquaculture because the bank has being a worthy partner in cassava production and even in the health sector,” Kehinde said.
He said the state government realised agriculture was pivotal to its economic growth and had declared a state of emergency in the sector to reduce crime and guarantee food security.
Kehinde disclosed that Kogi had asked for the lease of Federal Government’s 4,500 hectares land around Omi Dam in Yagba West and Ibaji Local Government Areas for rice production.
He said the federal government has also pledged to set up another rice mill in Ibaji and called for upscale in rice cultivation to feed the mills.
“About 45,000 hectares of Fadama land in Odo-Ape could also be used for cassava and rice production,” he said.
NAN reports that Kogi is one of the six core states of Fadama III programme participating in cassava value chain.
– NANShare this on WhatsApp