The federal government of Nigeria is seeking 100,000 hectares of land from Nasarawa State for rice cultivation as part of the Buhari administration’s efforts to increase rice production in the country.
Nasarawa Gov. Abdullahi Sule disclosed this during a courtesy visit in Lafia by a delegation belonging to the Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority, which was led by its managing director, Muhammad Addra.
Rice is one of the most popular staples consumed in Nigeria, accounting for 10 percent of household food costs and 6.6 percent of total household spending.
According to 2020 data from the United States Department of Agriculture, Nigeria produced 5.04 million metric tons against a domestic consumption of 6.7 million metric tons.
During the visit, the governor reiterated the federal government’s promise to fund the entire project and provide rice seedlings in order to ensure proper implementation in the state.
“Just yesterday night, they called me from Abuja; they are looking for a hundred thousand hectares of land in Nasarawa State. The federal government will fund it 100 per cent for rice production. If there is more land in Tide, they will provide the funding, for the clearing, land development and provide the seed,” Gov. Sule noted.
While reaffirming the support of his administration for the Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority, the governor shared that a portion of more than 200,000 fallow plots of land in Tide belonging to the development authority would be released for the project.
“I will continue to support the agency in its bid to convert the sprinkler system to flood irrigation, especially that the state government has acquired 500 hectares of land for its youth empowerment scheme in agriculture at the Doma Dam,” he said.