- Niger Partners NCRI to Boost Rice, Sugar Production
The Niger state government is to partner the National Cereals Research Institute Badeggi (NCRI) to boost rice and sugar cane production during the next farming season.
The Commissioner for Information Mr. Jonathan Tsado Vatsa made this known over the weekend when he led a government delegation to pay a courtesy visit on the Executive Director of the NCRI Badeggi Dr. Samuel Agboire on behalf of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello.
He said: “We have so many things to gain from the Institute and we are willing to partner with the NCRI. We want to close the gap between us and the institute so that our farmers can produce the best crops especially with varieties of seedlings.
“As we go into partnership with them, they will give us improved seeds of rice, soya beans, sugar cane and other cereals, we will in turn supply these seeds to our numerous farmers at the end of the day we should be able to feed the country and even the whole of West Africa.
“We have the human resources, the farmlands and by the time we get the improved seedlings Niger will be the state to beat. Governor Abubakar Sani Bello is ready to provide the facilities for the irrigation farming”.
Earlier, the acting Executive Director of the NCRI, Agboire had called on the state government to as a matter of urgency take irrigation farming seriously if it must take its rightful position as number one in rice production in the country.
Agboire said: “We have the potentials to support the state; we coordinate activities of States in the north central zone where Niger state is. Light and water are our major problems. If we must compete favourably with other states, then irrigation facilities must be revived”.
He argued that for the state “to be the number one producer of rice in the country, irrigation facilities must be put in place”, adding that the NCRI had 70 rice varieties, which could benefit farmers in the state.