The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has supported 200 rice farmers in Niger with free inputs for dry season farming.
Mr Zegi Ahmadu, the state Coordinator of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development disclosed this on Tuesday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna.
“Three weeks ago JICA provided free inputs for 200 rice farmers in Niger state as intervention for the dry season rice farming,’’ he said.
Ahmadu said that the intervention to support the livelihood of the farmers was to cushion the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that the inputs distributed include fertilisers (urea and NPK), herbicides, pesticides and improved seeds.
The Coordinator explained that each of the farmers got two bags of urea, four bags of NPK, one bag of 50 kg of improved seeds, five litres of herbicides and two litres of pesticides.
He said that the gesture was meant for all the rice producing states across the country.
Ahmadu said that the male and female farmers including the Small-Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) and the physically challenged persons in the state benefitted from the gesture.
He further said that recently the Federal Government under the sesame/soybeans value chain distributed improved seeds to 500 sesame farmers and 500 soy beans farmers in the state as COVID-19 palliative.
Also, Mrs Grace Disa the state coordinator, SWOFON said that the organisation received 5 bags of soybeans as palliative from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Disa said that another five bags came from the Soybeans Farmers Association in the state.
NAN reports that JICA is a government agency that delivers the bulk of Official Development Assistance for the government of Japan.
It is saddled with the responsibility of assisting economic and social growth in developing countries and the promotion of international cooperation. (NAN)