From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Sequel to the introduction of dry season rice farming by IFAD/VCDP in Kogi State, many communities adopted the new innovation and had began the practice .
Amid joy and jubilations, the dry season rice harvest was conducted in Okumi and Kabawa communities in the atmosphere of funfair, which drew the attention of locals who came to see the beauty and reality of the dry season rice farming.
The harvest witnessed a large turnout of farmers, spectators and staff of Kogi VCDP headed by the State Programme Coordinator, Dr Stella Adejoh, who was amazed by the rice yield.
While addressing the people, Adejoh excitedly pointed out that God through IFAD / VCDP had done it again for the people of Kogi State with the introduction of dry season rice farming.
According to her, the sky is the starting point for rice farmers in the state, because of the fact that the support of IFAD/VCDP was not only limited to dry season rice farmers but the programme is also supporting wet season rice farming as well as cassava production.
She said the intervention is primarily targeted towards rural farmers comprising of youths, adults, males and females and other genuine farmers who are passionate about farming as a profession.
The programme coordinator stated that, ”as many who are serious with the programme will definitely enjoy the benefits of their engagement”.
She encouraged the youths present at the occasion to take full advantage of the IFAD/VCDP in the State to better their lots.
While responding to questions at the occasion, one of the farmers, Mrs grace Solomon, a dry season rice farmer, applauded the initiative of the Kogi IFAD/VCDP and said that the new innovation of dry season rice farming had availed them the opportunity to be engaged twice a year instead of once that has been the practice.
She further explained that she will continue to expand her farming capacity due to the way and manner VCDP had been supporting her rice farming activities.
Madam Grace expressed appreciation to IFAD/VCDP for counting her worthy to have participated in the programme of the project, which has impacted her positively.
The lady confessed that her yield was massive this year such that she was able to do what she could not to do before the intervention.
She said that she used part of the proceeds to support her husband in his academic pursuit at the polytechnic.
She, however, appealed to the management of KG /IFAD/VCDP for continuous support in the area of inputs such as bags of fertilizer, chemicals, clearing of the land for her and other of her colleagues to grow their farms.
In the same vein, Mallam Abubarkar from Kabawa, who is also a dry season rice farmer, confirmed to newsmen the quality of rice seedling from VCDP as uncommon compared to others.
He noted that ‘faro 44’s yield was outstanding among other species, and thanked IFAD / VCDP and Kogi State Government for the initiative, noting that before the introduction of ‘Faro 44’, his yield was not as robust as that of faro 44.
He explained that when he planted other seedlings on one (1) hectare, his harvest was about 55 bags of 100kg but with the cultivation ‘faro 44’ on the same hectare of land his harvest improved drastically from 55 bags to 85 bags in a harvest.
Abubarkar narrated some advantages of ‘Faro 44’ over others i.e faro 44 tillers are shorter with several tillers and stronger with broad base capable of withstanding hazards than other species, adding that ”it is farmer friendly and has high capacity for pest resistant”.
Mallam Abubarkar called on VCDP for more support because they (farmers) have embraced rice farming as their mainstay and occupation.