An agricultural revolution team, Synergos, has disclosed its plan to construct a Rice Incubation Centre in Benue State.
The group says it hopes to improve the quality of rice production in the state through its efforts.
Synergos Field Assistant, Mr Raymond Jooli, disclosed this on Wednesday in Markudi at a meeting of the Action Vision Group (AVG) and Action Innovation Group (AIG) organized by the group.
Jooli stated that the meeting was convened to provide lasting solution to a potential food crisis following the significant number of farmers deracinated from the state due to the threats posed by herdsmen.
In his words: “The centre will also assist processors to package their produce in 1kg, 5kg up to 50kg bags to be sold within and outside the state.
“The aim is to enable rice farmers add value to their produce, thereby making more money for themselves.
“They can even export the produce because it will meet international standards with the approval of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).”
Also speaking at the meeting, the Assistant Rural Institution Gender and Youth Mainstreaming Officer (ARIGYMO) of the International Food for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mr. Fabian Asemagema, called on the Benue State Government to seek avenues that will ensure the displaced farmers are brought back to their means of livelihood.
Asemagema noted that the project would help contain the looming food crisis in the state.
“As a temporary measure to tackle the imminent food shortage, the state government should, as a matter of urgency, provide lands to the IDPs so that they, too, could cultivate crops.
“This is to prevent acute food shortage.
“The government can also support them with the necessary inputs since they are handicapped presently,’’ Asemagema said.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Cassava Growers Association of Nigeria, Chief Igyo Ali, emphasized the need for the government to continue to support farmers in the state.