The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Friday, 23rd June 2023, distributed certified rice seeds to smallholder farmers in South-West region.

Those who benefitted from the distribution exercise included clusters of smallholder rice farmers from Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti as well as Ondo and Oyo States.

Speaking during the exercise, the Director of Agriculture in the Ministry, Engr. Garba Abubakar said it was meant to support farmers associations and cooperatives in the region.

Represented by Mr. Dauda Ayeleke, the Head of Rice Value Chain Unit, Abubakar urged the beneficiaries to make good ue of the seeds. He said they should endeavour to make judicious use of the inputs in order to increase its rice production level and quality in the interest of food sufficiency.

The Director stated that the target of the Fedceral Government was to give farmers access to good quality and high yielding rice varieties during the 2023 cropping season.

Some of the beneficiaries commended the FG for the gesture, describing it as timely and thoughtful. Mr Raphael Hunsa, the Chairman of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria in Lagos State said the gesture would have a positive impact on the country. He urged the FG to sustain the gesture in the interest of the country’s policy on local rice production and food sufficiency.