The Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development – Chief Audu Ogbeh, today flagged off the distribution of 500 threshers to rice farmers from 12 rice-producing states of Ebonyi, Enugu, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Niger, Kogi, Benue and Taraba.
The threshers are provided at 60% discounted rate to farmers who are required to pay 20% of the cost within 18months while the state governments bare 20% of the cost.
In a ceremony, performed today at the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, Abuja, the farmers are expected to begin to benefit from the mechanisation intervention of the ministry that is aimed at reducing the drudgery associated with threshing after harvest.
Handing over the farming equipment, the Hon. Minister of Agriculture – Chief Audu Ogbeh said: “We need to create self-employment for young Nigerians in agriculture. In the post-harvest activities alone, we will support them to start new businesses. We will give them threshers to support farmers at harvest. They help farmers to harvest and get paid for the service. Instead of importing rice, which will take three months to arrive after opening the letters of credit, the rice produced locally will be ready for harvest at the same time. This way, we will save foreign exchange while growing food locally and creating business opportunities.”