Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba has indicated that the state had the potential to produce 10 million tonnes of rice, the annual demand of the country, with adequate financing and availability of modern equipment.
The governor made this known on Monday in Ardo-kola while addressing a stakeholders’ meeting of the PDP’s delegates representing Jalingo and Ardo-kola.
Ishaku averred that areas like: Karim-lamido, Gassol, Ardo-kola, Lau, Ibi, Wukari, Takum, among others, had fertile lands suitable for growing large quantities of rice.
He, however, explained that the lack of sufficient funds had undermined the capacity of the state’s rice farmers to produce at an optimum level.
The governor said his administration was determined to support farmers in the state with farm inputs and improved seeds to increase their productivity.
He said that Dominion Farms, owned by a Kenyan investor in Gassol, had been given six months to commence buying of paddy rice from out-growers for processing.
The governor announced that the state government had bought hybrid seeds of Bennie seeds, soya beans and cassava and it would soon distribute them to its farmers.
“Recently, there is a high demand of bennie seeds in our markets; though, I do not know what they are doing with it. We have acquired its improved seed.
“We have also acquired hybrid seeds of soya beans and of course, cassava, because I will soon revive our cassava processing plant.
“When that is done, it will bring the total companies I revived to five out of the 25 companies that were in comatose when I took over,’’ Ishaku said.