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Rice cultivation: 16,000 hectares of land ready in Abia —RIFAN chairman

IN a move to boost the local cultivation of rice, Abia State chapter of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), has disclosed that 16,000 hectares of land is available for cultivation.

Speaking with Nigerian Tribune shortly after their state and local government election in Umuahia, the new State Chairman of RIFAN, Omeji Okechukwu-Origa commended the Federal Government’s policy to ban rice importation to the country.

According to him, the number of rice farmers in the state has risen to 6,000 with cut across the 17 local government areas of the state with particular reference to rice farms at  Arochukwu, Bende, Umuahia North, and  Ikwuano where rice is predominantly cultivated at large quantity.

“We have a numerical strength of about 6,000 farmers in the State. They have their rice farms where they cultivate rice in commercial quantity and we are all waiting for commencement of the Federal government program for rice production in state.

“Abia State is now fully prepared before this time, the State has been a major cultivator of rice, we have been challenged by the current cost of rice in the market and we  have resolved to boost cultivation of rice in the state if we get the necessary assistance and loan expected from the federal and state governments in that direction.