The Kogi Government says it expects a massive production of Confluence Rice from the 3,000 hectares of rice farms across the state by December.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Kehinde Oloruntoba, said this on Friday, while inspecting one of the rice farms at Ujoh, Bassa Local Government Area.
Oloruntoba said that consumer products of the rice production, executed under the FADAMA III Additional Financing (AF) project, would be available in the market as from December.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 80-hectare Ujoh rice farm is part of a cluster farm, which includes Ogbah rice farm (120 hectares) and Biroko rice farm (100 hectares).
NAN also reports that the commissioner’s visit to the Ujoh farm marks that onset of his tour of all the rice farms in the state.
Oloruntoba said that the massive rice production in Kogi was aimed at repositioning the state to become one of the major rice-producing states of the country.
He said that a rice mill, which was capable of processing 50 tonnes of rice daily, was under construction at Omi in Yagba West Local Government Area.
“Besides, another mill of the same capacity will be constructed by the Federal Government in Ibaji Local Government Area of the state.
“The rice produced in the state will be tagged ‘Confluence Rice’,” he said.
The commissioner expressed the determination of the state government to cultivate the vast arable lands in the state by exploiting all available intervention windows.
He said that the Alape Crop Processing Zone alone had over 300,000 hectares of arable land, which could be used for rice production.
On land-clearing, Oloruntoba said that non-functional government bulldozers would be resuscitated to clear lands.
Also speaking, Mr Paul Ogunmola, the State Programme Coordinator of the FADAMA III AF programme, said: “If the farmers follow due diligence and agronomic recommendations, the state will produce up to six tonnes of rice per hectare.”
He commended the state government for paying the counterpart funds for 2015 and 2016.