Jigawa Government on Tuesday announced plans to distribute ultra-modern mini rice mills, harvesters and other implements to boost rice production in the state.
Alhaji Jamilu Usaman-Danmalam, Special Adviser to the state governor on Rice Production and Value Chain said the implements would be distributed to youths under the government cluster farming scheme.
The special adviser said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Dutse, that the items would be issued to the young farmers on loan.
He listed the farming implements to include 100 mini rice milling machines, 100 single row planters, 100 double row planters, 100 mini thrashers, 300 handheld harvesters and 574 manual sprayers.
“The government has concluded all arrangements for this exercise and all the items are on ground.
“We are done with compiling the names of the beneficiaries and we will soon call them for distribution.
“This is part of our plans to empower and encourage youths to go into farming.
“The government is providing these modern implements to enable the beneficiaries become self-reliant, it is also to make agriculture attractive and acceptable to youths in the state,’’ he said.
The governor’s aide further explained that the gesture was to encourage large scale production of rice under the state’s government cluster farming initiative.
Jamilu-Danmalam added that youths would be clustered in such a way that two youths would cultivate one hectare of land.
He said that the state government would also provide the youths with seeds, fertiliser, insecticide, including other needed inputs at subsidised prices.
He said the youths would pay back the soft loan after they have cultivated and sold the rice.
NAN recalls that the Jigawa Government on Jan. 24, took delivery of four containers with several agriculture implements from China.
NAN also recalls that the government recently empowered 400 youths to cultivate 200 hectares of rice in Birnin kudu Local Government Area of the state.
The youths were empowered with seeds, fertiliser, insecticides and water pumps at subsidised prices to grow rice on the state government-owned Farara-Zuma Fadama site in Birnin kudu.
It also distributed 300 mini-harvesters, with 150 of the harvesters going to youths under the cluster scheme.
The youths, according to the special adviser, will use the harvesters for rice and wheat cultivation on commercial basis.