The Head of Procurement, Lula Rice Mill, in Gombe, Mr Ahmed Bamusa, on Thursday said the Federal Government’s intervention in agriculture had attracted investments in rice production.
Bamusa said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe.
According to him, investors are now interested in investing money in rice production in Gombe State, due to the intervention.
He said that if the efforts were sustained, Nigeria could become the biggest exporter of rice in Africa in the near future, while boosting food security.
“We started in 2019, and today we are already working towards expanding our production because of the demands.
”We take demands from Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Ogun and other parts of the country.
“Go round, you will see that many people are now investing in one form of rice value chain or the other.
”This is how our economy will be diversified, and agriculture holds the key,” he said.
Bamusa said that people were coming into rice farming, processing and marketing, which meant more jobs for the youth.
He said the private rice milling company had employed over 91 youths so far and would soon employ more.
Bamusa said that the border closure by government was a turning point for rice production in the country.
According to him, rice was being smuggled into the country before, with the economy is hurting, but today it is different.
Bumusa said the Federal Government should strengthen its intervention in rice production by aggressive sensitisation of farmers in rural communities to adopt modern seedlings to improve quality of paddy.
“We must support local farmers to embrace modern farming practices; this is the only way to get the best from agriculture.
”In 2019, Lula Rice chairman, Alhaji Farouk Bamusa, sold improved and disease-resistant seedlings to farmers.
“He bought improved rice seedling at the rate of N10, 000 per bag and sold them at subsidised rate of N4, 000 per bag, and after harvest, we bought the produce and they were happy,”, he said.
Bumusa said that the gesture was the company’s effort to encourage local farmers to use improved seedlings that meet best global standards while boosting productivity and enhancing their income.
He advised rice farmers to embrace the use of modern inputs and improved seedlings, as it was easy to market quality paddy than the ordinary ones.