The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) have advised rural rice farmers in Anambra on best practices to ensure bumper harvest.
The team led by Dr Chyka Unamma, Agriculture Production Advisor, FGN/IFAD-VCDP, Abuja gave the tips during a Field Implementation Support visit to Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) beneficiaries in Anambra.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the team visited farmers in Ndiokpalaeze, Ogboji, Ezira, Umunze and Ufuma in Orumba North and Orumba South Areas of Anambra on Friday.
IFAD-VCDP had about one month ago, distributed certified fero 44 rice seed, fertilizers and herbicides to 262 vulnerable farmers across eight Local Government Areas of the state.
The inputs which was acquired with grant IFAD to the Federal Government, was meant to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on rural farmers.
Unamma told the farmers at different locations visited that they must adopt nursery and transplant method as well as ensured they followed other basic methods.
“If you must succeed in rice production, do not practice the broadcasting method because it is wasteful, low yield and lack of data.
“We have trained you on pre- season, in-season and post harvest modern rice production; nursery and transplanting in rows is the best because it determines the plant population and optimisation of soil fertility.
“The fero 44 certified rice seed can give you bumper yield if you follow this method very well and we expect that you do so,” he said.
Unamma further told the farmers that a consultant from IFAD-VCDP would visit them in the upcoming weeks to inspect the progress in their farmers.
“We have lined up times activities from now until when the off-takers will buy all that you produced and pay you into your various bank accounts,” he said.
On menace of birds, Unamma advised the beneficiaries to spread white coloured nets on their rice fields to check influx of birds.
He also encouraged the farmers to cultivate in clusters, saying that it would make bird attacks very insignificant.
Mr Emmanuel Chukwukwelu, Agriculture Production Officer, IFAD-VCDP, Anambra, said that the experts had already conducted some trainings to equip farmers on basic steps for modern rice production.
Chukwukwelu said though only vulnerable farmers benefited under the RPSF, IFAD-VCDP grant, more inputs would be given to farmers under the marching grant Programme.
“IFAD-VCDP had before now been distributing agricultural inputs under the marching grant whereby beneficiaries pay 50 per cent of the cost.
“Though some poor farmers got inputs under the RPSF, we will still give out more inputs this year in our usual ways of assisting farmers who are known to us to be in business,” he said.
Some of the beneficiaries including: Mrs Helen Eduna, Odera Umeh, and Fidelia Nwafor expressed gratitude to IFAD-VCDP for the gesture and assured they would do their best to ensure the project succeeded.(NAN)