Abia Rice Farmers have lauded the Governor of Abia state ,Dr Okezie Ikpeazu as the State government through the FADAMA and the ADP ,partner with the National Center for Agriculture Mechanisation ( NCAM) Ilorin Kwara state to train Abia state rice farmers on the Irrigated Rice Production using SAWAH technology .
A technology which the National coordinator of the program ,Dr Ademiluyi Segun disclosed to have caused rice revolution in Japan, Asia and even Kebbi state in Nigeria.
Interacting with Newsmen shortly after the tiller operation and SAWAH technology training at Amayi Igbere ,Abia state ,the FADAMA coordinator for Abia state, Pastor Ibe Maduakolam Johnson ,expressed appreciation to the Governor of Abia state ,Dr Okezie Ikpeazu ,noting that he has shown serious passion for Agricultural development in Abia state, which he explained as one of the Governor Ikpeazu “s five developmental pillars.
He pointed out that it is the love the Governor has for agriculture development in Abia that made him to bring in NCAM to train Abia rice farmers.
He urged farmers to utilize the training,saying the program is not about giving allowances,but more of training which is much more important ,adding that FADAMA has been helping farmers and will continue to do so
He however, pointed out that outside training, farmers need support from government, which could be in form of incentives, loans,inputs,power tillers fertilizers,financial intervention and other forms of encouragement .
Interacting with Newsmen earlier during the training, the National coordinator of the program and director in National Center for Agriculture Mechanisation ,Engr. Dr Ademiluyi Segun , said ,” we were here last year based on the selection of Abia state as one of the state to be trained on capacity through the SAWAH technology, this program is sponsored by the federal government through ministry of Agriculture “
” After we came ,we expected the State government of Abia state would begin to give starter packs to the trained farmers, but that has not been so,we believe the government is planning to do that and we came to do the top up ,if we do not get the expected results, we will come for the third time ,the fourth time or even the fifth time ,until there is a revolution in rice that is the intention of president Buhari .He wants to ensure that rice that is produced in Nigeria is eaten by Nigerians ,until it is enough and of the same quality with the imported rice and that is the result we have been achieving, we believe that we have to achieve it,not only feeding ourselves, but we are going to feed the sub sahara part of Africa and become one of the major export of rice in the world ” he said
He revealed that the SAWAH technology is use in Japan in rice farming and that Japan has moved between 10 to 12 tons of milled rice and that Nigeria based on our Kebbi technology , “we are between 6 to 8 tons or paddy” adding that this technology is self -sustained and self – managed farm by farmers, who are taught and they improve on whatever they are being taught .
According to him , “the SAWAH technology has 7 components ,which include ,site selection, System Design, Tillage operation ,Agronomy practices ,which involves transplanting and the spacing should be 20 by 20 during the dry season ,then 25 by 25 during raining season, and Fertilizer Application , we encourage application of fertilizers that is 4 bags of NPK fertilizer ,2 bags of urea. .
“Other components include Water management and General Management “
In further appealed to the Governor to support the farmers with tillers and other incentives to encourage them.
In his appreciation ,the President General of Amayi Igbere multipurpose cooperative society ,Okebe Isaac Adele expressed joy over the training ,while commending the Governor of Abia state Dr Okezie Ikpeazu and the leadership of FADAMA Abia for training them .
According to him, ” We are happy ,we have been expecting this ,when ever the government comes here ,we will be favoured. The Governor listens to our problems ,please tell him that we have a problem of irrigation, the Dam is bad ,the channelling to our ponds is blocked, sometimes we have over flood .The Igwu River needs to be dredged and cleaned. We need fund ,loans,rice seedlings ,fertilizers ,and herbicides ,we have milled machine but it has collapsed ,the dryer and stone free machines are no longer working. The building needs renovation ,we need tractors and tillers to help us .We have about 30 thousand hectares of rice ponds in Amayi . Another problem we have is the issue of cows destroying our rice and when you challenge them ,they would bring out their guns ,we want to thank the Governor for all his support so far ,let him go ahead and help us more .we can feed Abia state if we get the necessary support “