The Ondo State Government on Thursday distributed thresher machines to 10 rice-farmer groups under the Fadama lll AF Project to boost rice production in three local government areas of the state.
Mr Adegboyega Adefarati, State Commissioner for Agriculture, said that in Akure that the gesture was also to enhance food security and wealth creation among the farmers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the groups are based in Akure North; Akure South and Ileoluji/Okeigbo Local Government Areas.
Adefarati said that the tools would help increase the average yield of rice production of each farmer in the state.
“I urge you as you receive this farming tools to use them effectively to boost your productivity and enhance your income,” he said.
Mr Olusegun Odunsanya, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said that government’s support to the farmers had helped to raise the production of rice to 8 tonnes per hectare from the baseline of 1.5 tonnes.
“I want to tell you that packaged rice that you see in the market branded “Ondo State’’ is 100 per cent from our state,” he said.
Mr Olusiji Olatunji, State Coordinator of Fadama Project, said that more than 500 farmers would have direct and indirect benefits from the use of the thresher machines.
Olatunji said that the machine would reduce drudgery associated with harvesting and processing of rice.
He lauded the state government for paying its counterpart fund as when due, which according to him had enabled the farmers access the IDA fund for the procurement of the machines.
Two of the beneficiaries, Mr Aileme Francis, Chairman, Alayere Cluster in Akure North Local Government Area and his counterpart in Agbedola Cluster, Mr Mustapha Tairu, appreciated the gesture.
“This machine will go a long way in reducing our stress and cost of production.
“Initially, we used hands to thresh and a lot of rice were wasted, but with this machine it will save a lot of wastage.
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