Farmers in the province of Rewa have been advised to consider large-scale cultivation of rice and to implement sound husbandry practices of the commodity for their food and income security.
This was highlighted to Rewa farmers after the Ministry of Agriculture, through its Crop Extension Division, held a rice demonstration field day at Burebasaga Village this week to promote the commodity as a stable source of income generation.
Senior Agriculture Officer (Rewa) Mohammed Kadir Khan said the awareness program was conducted to attract farmers’ interests to consider rice cultivation as a mainstay commodity.
“This program is basically to set up a rice demonstration production which the Ministry has been promoting, and one of the programs is to set demo plots according to Ministry standards whereby farmers will learn how to cultivate rice, learn its husbandry practices, harvesting, and marketing.
“This is under the Ministry’s Rice Development Program, which is one form of promotion and awareness that we are conducting to build the interest of farmers in the Rewa Province,” said Khan.
The province of Rewa has been identified as a suitable area for rice cultivation, having 15,000hectares of arable land, majority of it being geographically located near waterways and with the high water table in the soil backed up by high annual rainfall recorded in the Central Division, making it ideal for commercial rice farming.
Khan said due these favourable conditions, rice was one of the most suitable commodities for Rewa farmers to commercially develop.
“When you look at the arable land that is cultivated currently in the province of Rewa, it amounts most likely to 3,000hectares and what we are trying to do now is to bring this package as a cluster for the villages, so that they can see for themselves that the way forward is with this commodity.
The ‘star’ rice variety, which can be grown on both dry and wetland, was also introduced to interested farmers during the field day.
“When people talk about rice, they talk about wetlands, having good irrigation facilities and to have rain-fed rice but this demonstration is on dry land rice, and interestingly, this star variety is for both wetland and dry land and yield potential ranges up to seven tonnes per hectare,” said Khan.
Burebasaga village headman Panapasa Tade said they were grateful to the Ministry for revitalizing rice cultivation on such high standards.
“Before, rice cultivation used to be done in various parts of the Rewa delta and the method was one of the hardest, but now, we are grateful the Ministry has shown us a method which is easier for us farmers, the development in mechanisation and the planting methods will not only assist us in terms of our income, but it will also ensure our food security,” Tade said.