The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has called for more investment in climate change mitigation efforts and irrigation agriculture to boost local rice production in 2022.
The RIFAN National Deputy-President, Mr Segun Atho, made the call during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.
According to Atho, investment in climate change and weather forecasts will help farmers understand the rain patterns and aid the cultivation process.
“I hope the year will be favourable for local rice farmers this year. We hope the rain patterns will also be favourable to farmers across the country.
“We want the government to help farmers intensify weather forecast to aid cultivation this year. Inconsistencies and lack of understanding of weather forecasts sometimes frustrate the efforts of the farmers.
“This year, we want the government to invest in climate change mitigation efforts and assist farmers following rain patterns,” he said.
Atho called for the opening of more river basins across the country and the inclusion of more farmers in the Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme.
He reiterated the need for the provision of irrigation incentives for local farmers to aid cultivation during the dry season.
“We also call on the government to intensify efforts to revive our river basins across the country.
“The Federal Ministry of Water Resources should assist farmers in provision of irrigation incentives in cases of drought.
“All river basins authorized areas should be given more land space to provide better irrigation for farmers across the country.
“We also ask that rice farmers and other farmers that have not been included in the Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme should be brought on board.
“The rice industry has done well recently and hopes to do more. It is just that Nigerians do not appreciate local produce on time.
“This year I believe rice farmers are going to be more proactive because we have a lot to achieve,” Atho said. (NAN)