Popular Farms and Mills Ltd, a Kano-based Indian firm, on Friday in Yola distributed more than 100 bags of improved rice seedlings to farmers in Adamawa to boost production.
Pandian Balamurugun, the Director of the company, said at the ceremony, that the gesture was in the spirit of the bilateral agricultural cooperation between India and Nigeria.
“The main objective of the gesture is to build a solid agricultural cooperation between India and Nigeria and to assist rice farmers in the country to boost their local rice production.
“The initiative, not only aimed in reducing the burden of rice importation but also help reduce poverty among rural farmers as well as to attract youth into the agricultural business.”
He stressed the need for Nigeria to focus on developing the local rice industry because of the popularity of the commodity as a staple food.
Mr. Balamurugun underscored the need to collaborate with various organisations and farmers cooperatives to boost rice production.
According to him, the firm is currently supporting more than 5,000 rice farmers in 16 states of the federation.
He explained that as part of the cooperation, his firm had set up a unit to procure farm produce direct from the farmers at affordable prices, to enhance their income generation.
In his remark, Mustafa Raji, the Adamawa Agricultural Development Programme Project Manager, advised farmers to make good use of the opportunity to provide more rice and improve their living conditions.
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