Sokoto Rima Basin, Labana Farms Partner to Sensitise Farmers on Large Scale Rice Farming


          Rice farm in Kebbi state

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

As the Federal Government Anchor Borrowers programme on rice farming in Kebbi State progresses, the Sokoto Rima River Basin Development Authority (SRRBDA) and Labana Farms have began joint mobilization of farmers for large scale rice farming in the State.

The partnership is aimed at mobilizing individual rice farmers
and cooperate organizations to support the utilization of 15,000 hectares of uncultivated virgin Fadama land along the Niger valley for rice farming in Bagudo, Koko-Besse, Shanga, Suru and Yauri local governments areas.

The project manager of Niger Valley Projects of the SRRBDA, Alhaji Nasiru Modi announced this during an inspection visit to the new Labana Farms at Gante in Bagudo local government area by officials of the both parties.

He explained that the benefits to be derived from Fadama utilization
campaign for large scale rice farming included increased income for the rice farming communities; employment creation and rice sufficiency in the country such that will meet the nation’s rice demand.

Commending Labana Farms for acquiring about 1,500 hectares along the Niger valley for all year-round rice farming, the project manager also revealed that the Anchor Borrowers programme on rice farming had increased the numbers of rice farming families in Kebbi state by over 300 percent, which would eventually increase the quantity of rice being produced in the state by the same percentage.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Labana Global Ventures, Alhaji Abubakar Abbah Adamu disclosed that the decision to establish Labana Farms was informed by President Buhari’s efforts to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production, adding that Labana Farms would not only provide employment opportunities but also make remarkable contribution in saving the nation’s foreign exchange that was being lost through rice importation.

The General Manager of Labana Rice Mills, Alhaji Abdullahi Idris Zuru said that Labana Farms was expected to provide at least, 40 percent of annual raw materials requirement to Labana Rice Mills, with the present capacity of 16 metric tons per hour. “This will certainly reduce production cost and price of the processed rice,” he added.

Speaking in the same vein, the coordinator of Labana farms project, Alhaji Umaru Dodo Aliero said that “the 1,500 hectares Labana farms was established in January this year of which 180 hectares have been utilized for dry season farming; 200 hectares are being cleared to be included in the rainy season for mechanized farming. The balance of about 800 hectares will be cleared for the next years dry season farming.”

He added that, already about 200 people drown from the surrounding communities had been provided with jobs in the farm.