NIGERIA – The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), is collaborating with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RFAN) to enhance rice production and ultimately battle the accelerating food insecurity in the Nation.

Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, the commission’s Managing Director revealed the strategic move while reading a statement by the NDDC Director of Corporate Affairs, Pius Ughakpoteni.

This was during a strategic meeting with a delegation of the farmers’ association led by NDDC Deputy National President, Mr. Victor Korede, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Ogbuku said the commission was ready to partner with RIFAN to promote rice cultivation in the region.

“With the new drive in NDDC, we are ready to go into partnership with RIFAN. We have two rice mills in Elele-Alimi, Rivers State, and Mbiabet-Ikpe in Akwa Ibom State. We are interested in the smart agriculture approach of the farmers’ association.”

He noted that the NDDC Managing Director is determined to execute legacy projects which will impact positively and directly on the people of the region.

In line with President Bola Tinubu in addressing food security, the NDDC introduced a pet programme, known as Holistic Opportunities, Projects and Engagement, HOPE, which has agriculture as one of its key components.

According to the commission, the “Project HOPE’ initiative seeks to engage youths of the region by creating employment opportunities for them.

We have collated the data of the youths in the region and so many of them are interested in agriculture. The NDDC is resolute in the quest to provide food security in the Niger Delta region, and we need to engage the youths in agriculture to achieve this goal,” NDDC said.

According to the NDDC boss, the Niger Delta region is endowed with the right ingredients for rice growing.

He stated that the Niger Delta region, due to the arable wetlands, rainfalls and other ecological factors in its favour, provides the window to plant rice at least, twice within a farming season.

Therefore, it is incumbent to engage the rice farmers meaningfully as they have shown a strong desire to grow more rice.

Speaking during the meeting, Emmanuel Anoh, RIFAN’s South-South Vice President, said the association was set to demonstrate that local production of food in sufficient quantity is possible in the country.

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