Adamawa: Government fails in rice farming
The many policies announced by the present administration in Adamawa State in 2016 to boost rice production have remained cosmetic, as there is no sign on ground for dry season farming or rice production to start in the state this year.
A seasoned rice farmer, Alhaji Abdullahi Maikano Tafida, told The Guardian that since the Anchor Borrowers’ programme was flagged off last year by Governor Jibrilla Umaru Bindow, there is no sign on ground to prove that the scheme is still alive.
“The implication of this is that rice production in the state has not been given the deserved attention and the price people of the state would pay this year is total famine, as it is been predicted by some reputable international organisations.”
“As a seasoned farmer, especially rice, I feel ashamed that majority of our state governors are not taking food production seriously. Since our governor flagged-off this scheme, there is no practical sign that this programme will become a reality in the state.”
“For this year, it is already late to start dry season farming in Adamawa, there is no chemicals distributed to dry season rice farmers to clear the bushes, if you apply the chemicals, it’ll take you one week to start working on the land. There are no seeds distributed to farmers and this process take three weeks that means February is already finished. It takes 45 days for the rice to mature for transplanting, which means we will be in April. Rain starts in Adamawa in May and you must wait for another 60 days for you to start applying fertilizers, which is not even available to dry season farmers.”
Tafida said the governor sacked the former leadership of the Anchor Borrower’s scheme on ground of poor performance, but pointed that the new leadership headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Bindir Umar, has not changed the fortune of the people.
“When Bindir took over, we expected him to retain the contractors accredited to supply farm inputs, but he sacked them and started a new process that we don’t know when the rice scheme will take off. The truth of the matter is that government needs serious minded farmers and not air-conditioner farmers to head farmers’ programmes, it is a shame that with all the rivers and rich land we have in this country government cannot provide a conducive environment for we farmers to feed the country.
“Since 1980 when the government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, started irrigation farming in Yola-North local government, no government improved on that project. That scheme is the best for this country, but today our leaders allow it to rot away. To be sincere, our leaders are yet to show commitment to agriculture,” he stated.