Executive Assistant to Imo State Governor on Poverty Alleviation Dr. Edwin Uche said the government distributed inputs and paddy Rice to 1,000 rice farmers.
Uche, who coordinates the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Owerri the measure was to boost rice production.
He said: “Besides providing farmers with high-yielding rice seedlings, inputs and finance, we engage experts, who will put them through the process.
“There is arrangement for off-takers to buy off what they will produce.
“We believe through this approach and financial checks by officials of Bank of Agriculture, the sky will be the limit of farmers venturing into this agribusiness initiative.’’
The executive assistant said the government planned to join the league of commercial rice producers.
“Imo has the potential to be among the net producer and exporter of rice because of factors counting in its favour,’’ he added.
NAN reports that Okigwe, Ideato North, Oguta and Ihitte Uboma are fertile for rice cultivation.
Uche noted that Nigeria made impact in rice production on the continent and Imo would key into the drive.
“Agriculture is a sector capable of providing employment.
“This is the new drive being pursued by the Federal Government and the Governor Rochas Okorocha administration,’’ he said.
The executive assistant advised the beneficiaries of the programme to utilise the opportunity because it could transform them into rich farmers and employers.