FG to Ban Importation of Rice

 The Federal Government has concluded plans to ban the importation of rice into the country in order to boost local production, the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Reng Ochekpe,  made this pronouncement at Omor in Anambra State during her visit to the Lower Anambra Irrigation Project (LAIP) at the weekend.

“ Mr. President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan,  has the intention to stop the importation of rice into the country in the next two years, so as to
give the local production a chance to prove their capability that they can feed the nation. The transformation agenda of the Federal
Government is very effective in the agricultural sector; hence the present administration is doing everything possible to rehabilitate
all the irrigation projects in the country that would enhance all year round farming in the country,” Ochekpe said.

The minister, who visited   the Lower Anambra Irrigation Project, Omor in Anyamelu Local Government Area of Anambra State and Adarice Irrigation Project in Adani, Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State,  stated that the essence of her visit was part of her routine duty to visit Federal Government’s  projects under her ministry, adding that the two irrigation projects were part of the 57 irrigation projects in the country built to boost agricultural revolution in the country.

She maintained that when the projects are fully rehabilitated, Nigeria would meet all her rice needs and assured that the rehabilitation
would started soon.

She, however, expressed dismay over the over the abandonment of the rice mill at the LAIP, which was handed over to the Anambra State Government over the past three years, noting that the Federal Government and the Anambra State Government would partner to bring back the giant mill to full production capacity.

“To allow the huge investment here to rust away is not permitted. The Federal Government and the state government will partner in order to recover the project and put it back to full utilisation,” she said.

The Acting Managing Director of Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority, Owerri (AIRBDA), the parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Water Resources which oversees the projects, Engr. Onu Eluwa, noted that the LAIP has a land mass of 3,850 hectares (ha), while the Adarice Irrigation Project has the same land mass of acreage.

Eluwa, who took the Minister round the two project sites alongside all the directors and staff of the establishment,  said  the two projects are in position to feed the nation if full rehabilitated and promised that his establishment has the capacity to provide training needed to boost rice production in the country.

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