By Christian Ogbonna
Asaba – Rice farmers in the South-South zone of the country have resolved to advance rice production with a view to boosting food security in the zone.
The farmers made the resolution in Asaba at the end of the zonal meeting of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN).
The zonal Chairman of the association, Mr Sylva Ejezie, said that the six states of the zone comprising Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers had united to tackle issues hindering rice production in the zone.
Ejezie said that the importance of food security to every nation could not be over-emphasised.
According to him, advancing agribusiness for the people will not only make food available but empower and create jobs for youths.
“We have gathered here today in Delta to harness issues that will take rice farming to another level; you know agriculture is a good business and we do not want to be known as a region for militancy.
“Some of the issues we discussed included ways to avoid combining politics and farming.
“I believe the cabals in politics are the setback towards growing agriculture.
“We do not want to be known only for restiveness among youths, militancy and kidnapping; South-South has the manpower and fertile land for farming.”
Mr Ezekiel Ogbianko, RIFAN’s Chairman in Bayelsa, who expressed displeasure over tagging South-South as a criminal zone, called for more integration of youths into agriculture in the region.
“We want a way that people will perceive us as one of the economic builders for the nation,” he said.