The Delta State Government has promised to encourage private participation and partnership with government to further develop the agricultural sector.
Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan stated this during the inspection, commissioning and launching of a rice processing machines, which include two combined harvesters and a boom sprayer at the multi billion naira Raymos Guanah Rice Farm situated at Owena River Basin, Illah, Oshimili North Local Government Area of the state.
The governor said the investment would boost food security and employment generation.
Represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Misan Ukubeyinje, Uduaghan said the 102-hectare rice farm being cultivated by Guanah was a large-scale venture to boost food production and boost the state’s agricultural development plans.
He promised that the state government plans to assist farmers to tackle the challenge of lack of access roads for farmers to convey their produce to markets.
Guanah, Managing Director of the farm, in his welcome address, enumerated the teething problems challenging their production to include poor condition of roads, non procurement of fertilisers, planting equipments and seed drill (rice planter), boom sprayer, and tractor operator fertilizer spreaders for which the management of the farm has procured to increase the farm’s productivity.
While lamenting the 2012 flood, which ravaged his 30,000-hectare rice farm worth millions of naira, he claimed he is not discouraged but more determined to cultivate more rice for Delta State and the country at large, disclosing the rice harvester has a multiple function of harvesting, winnowing and threshing rice for consumption.
Contributing, Ogbueshi Afam Obiago, the Special Adviser to Delta State Governor on Economic Planning, said the determination of Guanah to boost food security and generate employment represented a great effort that must not go unnoticed by the state government.
Mrs Dame Agu, Branch Controller, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said farmers, especially those who are not into mechanised farming, were in the right direction with regard to one of the sectors for measuring the plank of the Delta Beyond Oil programmes.