FG procures 500 rice harvesters, threshers to boost production

06.01.2017

The Federal Government has procured at least 500 rice harvesters and threshers to reduce post-harvest losses and achieve self-sufficiency in rice production by 2018.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, made this known in a chat with journalists in Abuja on Thursday.

Ogbeh said the government had only taken delivery of 80 of the harvesters, adding that the remaining 420 would be delivered before April.

He said the harvesters that would cost about N1.7 million each, would be manned by trained personnel in states.

Ogbeh also noted that the rice threshers which were produced locally would cost between N800, 000 and N900, 000 each.

The minister, who said Kebbi has procured some of the machines, noted that Ebonyi and Jigawa States have also indicated interest to acquire the machines.

“One of the worries of rice farmers is the labour in the harvest and that is why we are bringing these machines,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the minister as saying to journalists on Thursday.

“They will be managed by a team of young boys and girls. They will be backed with a lot of spare parts.

“Boys and girls will move round harvesting rice for farmers and they will get paid for the labour because manual rice harvesting is a very tedious process.”


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