The Wa Municipal Director of the Department of Agriculture, Mr Huudu Abu has said that the daily processing capacity of paddy rice in the Wa Municipality stands at over 27,000 kilograms.
This translates to 322 bags of 84-kilogram weight per day.
Mr Abu disclosed this at the occasion of the Wa Municipal version of the 38th National Farmers’ Day celebration on the theme, “Accelerating Agricultural Development Through Value Addition”, held at Charingu.
“The daily capacity within the municipality for value addition to paddy rice stands at 27,048 Kg of rice,” he stated.
He said the figure was tenable as the municipality was blessed to have established three rice mills under a private sector initiative with a cost-sharing funding agreement with the GIZ’s Market Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP) and the World Food Programme (WFP).
The three installed rice mills included Antika Company Limited, Big Ajar Farms and Progressive Women Group with respective processing capacities of 160, 144 and 18 bags per day.
The Director of Agriculture added that a total of 635 acres of rice valleys had been developed under a rice project in eight selected communities for rice cultivation.
He urged farmers to take optimum advantage of the bunded developed rice fields to venture into massive rice cultivation to feed the rice mills which were currently operating under capacity due to inadequate raw materials.
While feeding the rice mills with raw materials, he believed that farmers can earn income as well as ensure food security.
Mr Abu called on the people and the generality of the public to join hands in fighting bushfires as their effects on the soil served as a significant threat to food security.
In his remarks, the Wa Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Alhaji Issahaku Tahiru Moomin noted that this year’s Farmers’ Day theme aptly captures the focus of government policy direction to reverse the adverse effects of food insufficiency and insecurity through the advancement of agriculture and value addition.
He said the Municipal Assembly through the Department of Agriculture planned and executed a number of activities and interventions to support farmers in the municipality for increased yields and productivity.
Among such interventions, the MCE said the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) intervention by the government continued to trigger a positive response in agriculture with a total of 32,372 farmers in the municipality benefiting from the programme this year.
He added that a livestock and poultry initiative was implemented in collaboration with the Savannah Investment Programme (SIP) to enhance poultry production, improve breeds of ruminants and contribute to food and nutrition security in the municipality.
Mr Moomin intimated that the interventions in the livestock industry have created a buffering effect for unpredictable weather conditions for the crop sector coupled with the increasing climate change effects.
Some of the activities, according to the MCE, included step-down training for farmers on Good Agronomic Practices (GAPs), community demonstrations and green field days, bushfire management, and radio broadcasts, among others.
In all, 23 farmers and 20 exhibitors were honoured for distinguishing themselves in various aspects of farming crop cultivation and livestock rearing.
Mr Kassim Nurudeen, from Charingu, was adjudged the Overall Best Farmer for the Wa Municipality. He went home with a tricycle motor, knapsack prayer, and wellington boots, among others.
In his remarks, he expressed gratitude to the Department of Agriculture for recognizing his contribution to the agricultural sector, adding that he was content with the prize.
He attributed the award to adherence to best agronomic practices and expert advice from Agricultural Extension Agents.
First and Second Runner-up positions went to Danboyela Kwame from Tampieni and Salifu Imori from Chegli respectively, with Madam Monica Ibrahim from Kperisi emerging as Best Woman Farmer.
Source: Amin Ibrahim