By Friday Idachaba
Lokoja – Kogi owned- milling factory at Omi Agricultural Development Centre, Yagba-West Local Government, will start mass production of rice for the market in December, an official says.
Mr David Apeh, Special Adviser to Gov. Yahaya Bello on Agriculture and Rural Development, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lokoja.
‘’In December, God willing, the state government will be out with Kogi Confluence Rice from Omi Dam,’’ he said.
According to Apeh, all necessary arrangement for the December deadline, for the rice to hit the market has been completed, stressing that the factory is poised to mill rice, grown and harvested in the area.
“The milling factory in Omi will also serve as undertaker for other rice-producing local government areas of the state to mill all and package them for the markets.’’
The governor’s aide noted that the agricultural development in Omi was not limited to rice production, adding that about 500 fish ponds had already been developed for massive fish production.
Apeh expressed optimism that fish production would boost the effort of the state government to feed the people of the state and the nation at large.
He also said that plots of land had been cleared and allocated to youths and other interested groups in the area to grow different crops.
Apeh expressed hope that with sustained commitment to the various initiatives of the state government, Kogi would soon assume leadership position in food production in the country.
“With all these, we should be the ‘’Food Basket of the Nation’’ rather than Benue which currently claims the title. We have everything it takes to achieve that.
“ With the arable land, water bodies and the commitment of the present government in creating conducive environment for investors in agricultural production, we shall be up there soon.”
He expressed optimism that with the present security beef up by the state government, a robust boost to agricultural production in the state would be a reality.
“Agriculture is our only hope of survival now that the economy is dwindling.
“We want to overtake Lagos and Kebbi, taking advantage of our location.”(NAN)