Alhaji Muhammad Shehu, the Permanent Secretary, Kebbi Ministry of Agriculture, has said that the state produced 3.6 million tonnes of rice out of the 5.7 million tonnes of the nation’s annual requirement.
Shehu made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birnin Kebbi on Tuesday.
‘‘Kebbi State produces 3.6 million tonnes of rice out of the nation’s food requirement of 5.7 million tonnes annually.
‘‘That is what made the state a leading producer of rice in the country,’’ he said.
He explained that the feat was made possible through the efforts of over 70 per cent of youths and women, who benefited from the rice value chain programme of the state government.
‘‘Over 70 per cent people, especially youths and women, gained employment in various rice value chains in the state, and they made the rice production a dream come true and realistic,’’ he said.
The permanent secretary said rice production had tremendously improved the status of the farmers and raised the living standard of small-scale farmers.
‘‘Our farmers are now out of poverty level to richness because, in Kebbi rice production is now a business not subsistence issue,’’ he said.
He commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari and Gov. Atiku Bagudu in ensuring the revival of agriculture through various intervention programmes to farmers in the state. (NAN)