Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, BRIFAN, in Bayelsa State said rice produced in the state will be on sale across the country as from December, as part of efforts to improve food production.
Its Chairman, Mr. Ezekiel Ogbianko, told journalists yesterday in Yenagoa that the brand name for the rice is ‘Oyoyo’.
Ogbianko said taking the rice to the market by December was necessary as it would bring surplus food to the people, especially during the yuletide.
“We plan to sell the ‘Oyoyo’ bag of rice for N7, 000; we decided to bring the price down so that the common man will benefit in the forthcoming Christmas celebration. RIFAN in Bayelsa intend to produce rice that will feed the whole nation and we are making progress; we have done the first and second phase rice harvest this year.
“In Bayelsa, we have three phases of rice harvest every year; the first stage has gone and we harvested over 400 bags; in the second stage, we got 800 bags of paddy rice, while the third phase will come between December and January 2016.
“On promoting farming in the state, we are trying to engage on commercial rice farming because agriculture is a good business and key for economic growth. Here in the state, we have trained over 1, 200 young rice farmers between 2014 and this year, and most of them are working with us in the farm.
“We have also acquired over 6,000 hectares of land in Okoroba Community, Nembe Local Government Area and 5,000 hectares in Otabi community. Ogbia council area.
“Right now, we are working on a 40,000 hectare of land; I want to advice the young ones to take agriculture for business; farming is no longer a job for old people,” Ogbianko stressed.
The chairman, however, said that the challenges facing agribusiness in Bayelsa were insufficient funding, low input supply and lack of modern farming tools.
“We want the state and federal government to help us because we have surplus virgin and fertile land for farming,” Ogbianko said.

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