By Efa Sunday, Government House Correspondent
Cross River State Government, under the leadership of the Executive Governor, Senator Ben Ayade is set to deliver it’s first supply of rice seedlings to farmers in Kolkuma/Opokuma LGA of Bayelsa State, with headquarters in Kaiama.
Governor Ben Ayade yesterday inspected the rice farm workers at the Industrial Park who were harvesting and loading the seedlings into a truck for supply.
Mr. Ayade who was basking in joy, intimated the press that “the state is ready to supply the three billion naira first quarter worth of orders to all the South-South states in Nigeria.”
His words, “We have an order from Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) under the support of Central Bank, to provide all the seedlings support services to all the Southern States of Nigeria. The implication of this therefore is that we are gradually migrating to the technology based rice farming, where we move from the cultivation of seeds to the cultivation of seedlings.
“As we do this, we are conscious of the fact that harvest is done in the evening, because there is minimal distortion, in terms of atmospheric temperature, as it affects the bio-stability of the seedlings. Indeed, what is happening is that Nigeria is gradually migrating from the primitivistic, delusive home based rural African method of rice farming to a civilized modern technology-driven farming, which allows your yield to grow, the size of the farm will be less for maximum yield, your per hectar yield will move from two tonnes to about ten tones per hectar.”
With a vision to export internationally, the Governor continued, “Cross River State leading Nigeria, will lead us into a time when the country will be a net exporter of rice, because Bayelsa and Delta State are fully ready to receive our seedlings to be followed by all other South South states and indeed every states in he country.”
The project manager further expressed gratitude to the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari for “the special encouragement to have this project come to fruition today.”
On security and safe conveyance of the seedlings using the truck means of transportation, the Rice Project Manager, Mr. Emmanuel Anoh added, “it is very secured, because it is a wooden truck. It gives an organic background to the kind of product we are dealing with. In this type of movement, it manages the temperature around the seedlings, by generating moisture that revitalizes and maintains the viability of the seedlings to the point of delivery, as against metal trucks that convey extreme heats.”
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