The Taraba State bracnch of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) on Wednesday, flagged-off the sales of over 34000 bags of paddy rice to Rice Processors in Jalingo, the State capital of Taraba State.
The National President of the association, Alh. Aminu Goronyo in his speech commended the efforts of all stakeholders who worked hard to achieve this success of the RIFAN project.
He said that the agricultural pyramids which were only evident in the 60s and 70s has again returned due to the commitment and dedication of the stakeholders towards ensuring that the RIFAN objectives are achieved.
“Our history used to show that the economy of this country was based on Agriculture in the sixties and seventies which I think since that time, we have never seen one again until today” He said.
Goronyo also commended President Muhammadu Buhari whose agenda is to diversify the nation’s economy.
He also acknowledged the commitment of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr Godwin Emefiele for being highly committed and dedicated in ensuring that President Buhari’s policies towards job creation, food sufficiency and security is achieved.
“We thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his courage, for his determination and for his focus to diversify the economy of this country from oil as I say, to agriculture.
“As you can see today, from my sector which is rice farming, not only the conventional farmers, the Civil Servants, Business Tycoons, Women, Youths, old and young have all ventured into Rice production through the vision and commitment of Mr President.
“We thank you President Muhammadu Buhari and we pray that God will continue to give you long life and also good health.
“When we started in 2015, it was just one commodity, one state, which is rice. But today, we have about 30 commodities which are in Central Bank and been funded by the Central Bank through the commitment and efforts of the governor of Central Bank. I think he deserves commendation”.
The national President, also applauded the Federal Governments’ border closure and said “it is a blessing to rice farmers and farmers in general”.
He called on the Federal government to assist with more funds to boast the production of rice in the country.
Alhaji Tanko Bobbo, the State Chairman of the association , said that Taraba State is actually the “Natures Gift to The Nation”.
He stated that, Taraba State is naturally blessed with arable land that if properly harnessed, can produce rice in large quantity enough to serve the Nation domestically and for export.
“As you can see within a shortest period of our participation in RIFAN activities in Taraba State, we have about 32-35 Thousand bags of paddy Rice in our tertiary aggregation and hundred more in our secondary aggregation centers both as mandatory equity contributions and recovery from our existing beneficiaries in Wukari, Gassol, Karim- Lamido and other local government areas in the State.
“Mr President, I may wish to note that about 60- 70% of rice paddy , supplies to other State in the country comes from Taraba State.
Yet our contributions to National Economy and food security are unnoticed, he lamented.
“What you’re seeing is neither a Groundnut no Ir Cotton pyramids but Rice and it is the first of it kind in the history of this Nation”, he added.
He thanked President Mohammadu Buhari and the Central Bank Boss towards ensuring that the quest for a diversified economy is achieved as he also applauds the continues efforts of the National President of the RIFAN in the direction of actualising the President Mohammadu Buharis Policy on Rice and food security and sufficiency.
Tanko emphasised on the focus and dedication of RIFAN in the State and said he remained optimistic that Taraba State will always be at the apex in Rice production but however hinted on some of the challenges bothering the State wing of the association and call on the Federal Government and the National body of the association (RIFAN) to increase the funding and also purchase modern farm equipments for the Taraba State chapter of RIFAN.
Also speaking, the representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, advised the the National body of the RIFAN to liaise with the Central Bank of NIgeria to see how they can increase funding to the Taraba State Chapter of the association concluding that the Taraba State Chapter of RIFAN needs to be strengthened because it has displayed commitment to the project and also reminding the farmers, John cautioned the farmers to always pay back the loans in time to avoid been defaulted.
The renowned business mogul and Chief Executive Director of IRS group of companies, Alh. Rabiu Isiaku Rabiu who was present at the occasion said he was proud about what Nigerians can do and said credit should be given to President Mohammadu Buhari for been the architect behind the success story.
He added that that the availability of raw materials in Taraba State makes it a big opportunity for investors and pledged establishing a modern rice processing company in Taraba State.
“We will partake in the opportunity that exist in this policy. Government is there to bring about policies that will positively affect the life of the people, it is also the peoples responsibility to partake in that policy and we have seen an opportunity here and we have decided to invest in Taraba State seeing how committed the farmers are here and seeing the opportunity for us as a business to have readily available raw materials for our Mills.
So we have committed to establishing a modern large scale rice mill industry right here in Taraba for the benefits of Nigeria and Nigerians.
Story by James Ugo