The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Austin Chikezie has assured farmers of more benefits to them if they are committed to the State Government SMART Agenda programme.
Hon. Chikezie gave the assurance when he commissioned a rice mill for the Igala Women Rice Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative Society at Oko, in Oshimili South Local Government Area of Delta State.
The Agric Commissioner said that the citing of the Rice Mill at Oko was in recognition of the commitment of the Igala Rice Farmers in the State in rice production and the State Government’s SMART agenda, even as he said that they have paid back the previous loan given to them in 2016/2017 for rice cultivation.
“The Igala women who were considered for the processing mills have shown outstanding performance in promoting rice production in the State. This prompted the State Government to consider their request for a Rice Processing Mill”, the Commissioner stated.
He explained that the rice mill was not for any individual but for every person in the area who was committed to rice production, saying the Mill was one of the five rice mills the State Government was determined to establish in the State.
He revealed that three of such mills were purchased by the state government for the 2016/2017 Rice Value Chain Development Programme which were installed at Obior, Onitsha-Ukwuani and Agbarho.
The Commissioner thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his passion and commitment for agricultural development in the State, especially rice production.
He further said that Delta State was now a rice producing state with zones good for rice cultivation, such as Illah, Oko and all the areas around the River Niger in the state.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiary, the leader of Igala in Asaba (ONU Igala), Alhaji Adamu Bakwondera thanked the state government for the gesture and assured that the mill would be put to judicious use.
Alhaji Adamu also called on more women to join in rice cultivation as it is a very good business.
Present at the occasion were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Sir Austin Oghoro, Special Assistant to the state governor on Non Indigenes Matter, Alhaji Muktar Usman, the President, Igala Rice Farmer Multipurpose Coop Society, Mrs Salamatu Adamu among others.
Highpoint of the event was the commissioning of the rice processing mill by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Austin Chikezie.