By Amos Aar
THE STATE Programme Coordinator (SPC) of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) in Benue State, Mr EmmanuelIgbaukum, has lamented that insecurity had prevented the state from taking its pride of place as the number one producer of rice in Nigeria.
Igbaukum stated this at an advocacy visit to the Benue State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Michael Oglegba, on Tuesday in Makurdi.
The coordinator reiterated that Benue would have been the number one producer of rice in the country, lamenting that insecurity was not allowing it to realise its full agricultural potential.
“If insecurity in the state is tackled, Benue will take the lead in the production of rice in the country. Most rice farmers in the state are living in crisis prone areas. Persistent insecurity is hampering good farming practices thereby affecting food security,” Igbaukum said.
He also pointed out that through IFAD-VCDP, farmers in the state were experiencing high yield, stressing that the organisation adequately trains farmers on Good Agronomic Practices (GAP) which transcended to the high yield.
He further stated that farmers get it wrong if they lack the knowledge on GAP, stating that as a result, they either over- or under-apply fertilizer to their crops.
According to him, the organisation had also created several opportunities to encourage the youth to accept and embrace agriculture for the overall good of the society.
Responding, Oglegba assured IFAD-VCDP of a sustained and robust partnership.