RIFAN: Portfolio farmers limiting rice production in Bayelsa

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Apart from the recent flooding, portfolio farmers are also impeding the development of rice production in the state, the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Bayelsa chapter, has said.
Chairman of the association, Ezekiel Ogbianko, made this known in Yenagoa.
He appealed to the Federal and State Governments to bail them out of this problem because it is affecting rice growers’ businesses in the state.
“Accessing the lands are difficult; we want the three tiers of government to help us; in the season’s harvest, we are expecting 4, 000 tonnes of rice because our plan is to make the local rice available for our people,” he stressed.
“We are making progress in terms of rice farming in Bayelsa, but the challenges here are very enormous; they range from flooding to portfolio farmers.
“Accessing the lands are difficult; we want the three tiers of government to help us; in the season’s harvest, we are expecting 4,000 tonnes of rice because our plan is to make the local rice available for our people.”
Ogbianko added that the wet season planting of the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and the distribution of farm inputs to farmers for the season had no fewer than 227 farmers benefiting from the inputs.
However, he accused the ‘political farmers’ of hijacking the Central Bank’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme since it started in the state.
Ogbianko also called on the government to reverse the trend to ensure real farmers benefited from the scheme.
The Bayelsa RIFAN Chairman lamented that the objectives of the programme had not be achieved in the state.
“We are making progress in terms of rice farming in Bayelsa, but the challenges here are very enormous; they range from flooding to portfolio farmers,” he said.
“Even the selection; it was being done in a hidden place, where we don’t know; up till now, RIFAN members have not been involved. I am calling on the federal government to also extend the programme to the rural dwellers because, that is where the real farmers are residing.”

Culled from here

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