Mr Raymos Guanah, proprietor, Guanah Rice Farms, Illah, Delta, has said that he plans engaging 50 graduates to produce more rice to feed the newly procured processing mill in the farm.
Guanah disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in his farm at Illah, near Asaba, the Delta capital on Sunday. The former Commissioner for Lands said the plan was to increase rice production and create jobs for the youths in the state. He explained that each of the 50 graduates would be provided five hectares of land, improved rice seedlings, agrochemicals and other incentives, to encourage them to produce rice for the mill.
“I am starting a programme through which I intend to engage out-growers, so that I can meet my target in feeding the processing mill. I want to get up to 50 graduates across the state, support them with improved seedlings, agrochemicals and other incentives. At the end of the harvest, the whole rice would be processed in the mill and supplied to buyers. By so doing, they will make money and be happy and I will be happy too, while Deltans will have more rice to eat. You can imagine what government can do in this direction too: the number of jobs to be created and the quantity of rice to be produced in the state will be enormous.”
Guanah said that the farm had expanded, but was faced with the challenge of inadequate number of tractors to produce the required quantity of rice to feed the processing mill. According to him, 10 additional tractors are required to meet the production need of the mill.
“What we need now are tractors; I have a rice mill but our current production capacity is not enough to feed it. We want to expand, we have acquired land across the state but we need tractors to be able to meet the processing requirement of the mill and timing is of essence in this regards. Because we do not have enough tractors, we cannot produce rice simultaneously in all our farms. For now, we have to move our tractors from one location, after a season, to another”.
He said the farm desired to engage in all season farming, but was constrained to do so now because of inadequate number of tractors. He commended the stae government’s plan to procure tractors for farmers in the state, and advised it to ensure that the real farmers got the equipment when finally delivered. He called on the Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration to partner Guanah Farms through the provision of land and other incentives to boost rice production in the state. He advised youths to embrace agriculture and avoid cyber crimes and other social vices to be able to make decent leaving and even become rich.
“There is money in agriculture, the government must look inwards, support the right farmers and get the youths to have a new mindset about life. Any graduate who leaves the university today and thinks he can make it overnight without working, is joking,” Guanah added. (NAN)