By Oye Chukwujekwu,
Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has urged rice farmers to increase their production to meet the needs of Nigerians.
The governor made the call at Akwukwu-Igbo during a town hall meeting with people of Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State.
According to the governor, there are indications that the Federal Government will ban the importation of rice and rice farmers should boost their production to meet the needs of the people and also benefit from likely incentives from the Federal Government when such happens.
Okowa, who particularly commended the people of Illah for their commitment towards the production of rice, asserted, “we are taking the growing of rice very serious because the Federal Government may ban the importation of rice and existing farmers will benefit from Federal Government’s assistance.
“We are also, encouraging our farmers to benefit from the Central Bank of Nigeria anchor borrowers’ programme which will not only provide funds for farmers but, will ensure that their products get to the market.”
The governor expressed regret that most farmers in the state were yet to access the fund due to improper documentation.
Okowa, who was accompanied to the town hall meeting by his Deputy, Kingsley Otuaro, and other top government functionaries, reeled out the achievements of his administration within the last two years despite the economic crunch ravaging the country.
According to the governor, apart from the massive road construction going on in all the local government areas of the state, success stories had been witnessed in the empowerment programmes embarked on by his administration.
“By God’s grace, we will do a lot more as we are doing our best to provide the needed infrastructure in different parts of the state; the town hall meeting is for you (Deltans) to speak freely because this is an opportunity to contribute to governance.”
Chairman of Oshimili North Local Government Area, Louis Ndukwe, had thanked Governor Okowa for the projects executed in the state, especially in Oshimili North Local Government Area.
Traditional rulers, representatives of different communities, groups and individuals attended the town hall meeting.