The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Bayelsa chapter, says it would produce no fewer than 180, 000 tonnes of rice from Ayamasa and Ofoni communities in the state annually.
The Chairman of RIFAN, Ezekiel Ogbianko, disclosed this at Ofoni community in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
According to him, the association had acquired 10, 000 hectares of land in areas such as Ayamasa community in Ekeremor Local Government Area and Ofoni as these communities are known as Agrarian communities in Bayelsa, especially in fish farming and other crops like corn, okro, among others.
“Yes, we have got the land; 5, 000 hectares each from the two communities, making it 10, 000 hectares. They have also given us the Power of Attorney to enable us cultivate the lands.
“The communities have agreed to partner with us at ensuring that the project is achievable. We have concluded plans to flag-off the plantation.
The project, according to him, will last for 50 years and will impact positively on the communities.
“From the two lands, we are targeting about 180, 000 tonnes of rice annually, because we will be having three crop seasons in a year,” Ogbianko said.
A Chief in Ofoni Community, Stephen Ovayebewho, who prayed for a successful rice farming season, described the project as a welcome development.
He then tasked the youth on peaceful conduct to enable the project succeed as well as to drive more meaningful developments for the people.
The Chief Security in Ayamasa Community, Orieware Enikenemo, says the youths are ready to embrace the development and pledged he would work hard to mobilise the youth.
“All of us here, small, young or old are mainly farmers because this is what we have been doing, especially fish farming.
“Now, agriculture has been modernised, so, we are saying yes to the project”.