The strategic engagement of Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state with the federal government has again attracted empowerment for about 13,000 rice farmers in the state.

The state commissioner for Information and Communication, Yakubu Dati disclosed this while inspecting the distribution of implements and materials from the stores of the Plateau Agricultural Development Programme (PADP) in Jos, the state capital.

Dati said about 6, 670 rice farmers in the state have received seedlings, fertilizers, herbicide, pesticide, water pumping machine and other rice farming inputs from the on going Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme of the federal government.

According to the Commissioner, the distribution is on-going simultaneously at the PADP stores in Jos, Mangu and Shendam to the benefiting farmers who are mostly women and youths.

He said the programme is aimed at empowering the farmers to boost food production, create employment and reduce youth restiveness.

The secretary of the Plateau State chapter of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Dauda Aku said the farmers were receiving their items for the past three weeks at Secretariats of Plateau Agricultural Development Programme (PADP) in Jos, Shendam and Mangu local government areas respectively.

According to him the beneficiaries were drawn from the 17 local government areas of the state.

He added that “6,670 people were approved in three geo-political zones of the state and about 36 trucks each loaded with 600 bags of fertilizers were allocated to the rice farmers in the state.”