By Maureen Ojinaka
Enugu – The Enugu State Government has urged the people to embrace rice farming, promising to make available farmland for cultivation to improve production.
The State’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Matthew Idu, gave the advice while speaking with newsmen on border closure on Tuesday in Enugu.
Idu said that the border closure would boost local rice production, especially in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
“Since the state joined the FADAMA project, government has found out that about six, out of the 17 LGAs in the state, have arable land for rice cultivation in large quantity.
“The state government is, therefore, calling on residents to engage in rice farming in those areas with arable land and consultants, who are into training on how to cultivate rice, are available,’’ he said.
He listed the LGAs with arable land for growing rice as Uzo-Uwani, Aninri, Awgu, Nsukka, Nkanu and Orji River.
According to him, the border closure is not new as many countries did the same to help their citizens produce what they needed, thereby engaging the masses positively.
“Nigerians may find it difficult at the beginning of the border closure, but it is to the benefit of the people.
“It will make Nigerians to go into farming and begin to produce their food by themselves rather than importing everything.The foreign rice that is being imported into the country, sometimes can be expired.
“This is because nobody knows when it was produced and how long it has been kept before importing them into Nigeria.
“I believe that at the end, there will be much food produced by Nigerians and there will be lesser importation of food items into the country,’’ Idu said.