By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja.
The Fadama III Additional Financing, FCT has partnered the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to train 30 rural women on improved rice parboiling technology towards ensuring better quality rice.
The technology known as False Bottom Rice Parboiling Technology ensures better processing thereby ensuring value and higher quality for the farmers.
Speaking at the training in Gwagwalada, Abuja, Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) of the FCT, Hon Nzekwe Stanley Ifeanyichukwu said “The training marks the attainment of yet another significant milestone in the efforts of FCT FADAMA III AF Project and indeed the FCTA towards the development of rice value chain in particular and agriculture in general in the FCT”.
“This technology on improved rice parboiling technology was introduced to Nigeria by JICA.
He said “The agency in partnership with the ministry, of Agriculture and Rural Development piloted the schemes in two states (Niger and Nassarawa) between 2012 and March 2016.Adding that at the end of the pilot training, the federal government had mandated JICA to further disseminate the technology to all states of the federation.
Mr Ifeanyichukwu said “it is in line with this directive that the National Fadama Coordination Office (NFCO) entered into a collaboration with JICA and conducted a Training of Trainers (TOT) for states participating in Fadama III and the FCT and NFCO thereafter mandated all states and the FCT to step down the training to their farmers for adoption”
The Secretary assured that ”The technology if adopted and properly utilized will reduce processing time, enhance efficiency in energy consumption, reduce wastage and above all improve the general quality of processed rice. Tis will no doubt reduce cost of production, increase output and increase incomes which will ultimately improve livelihood standards of our rural farmers”.
He assured that the ARDS are making concerted efforts towards improving the lot of rural farmers through several interventions such as the sale of agricultural inputs to farmers at subsidized rate of 50% a and several other programmes aimed at increasing productivity and ensuring food security in the FCT.
Also speaking at the event, JICA Senior Representative, Kodama Hiroshi said “The technology has advantages because it is easy, adaptive, ensures better color of rice (white) and higher prices against the conventional prices which the old parboiling method assured”
Mr Hiroshi said “JICA supported the training with the technology and an expert trainer, while Fadama III AF took care of other logistics”.