The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Bayelsa chapter, says the state-owned rice will be selling in the market by December, as part of efforts to boost food production in the state.
The Association's state Chairman, Mr Ezekiel Ogbianko, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Yenagoa that the brand name for the rice is "Oyoyo."
Ogbianko said that taking the rice to the market by December 2015 was necessary as it would bring surplus food to the people, especially during the yuletide.
He added that “we plan to sell the Oyoyo bag of rice at N7,000; we decided to bring the price down so that the common man will benefit in the forthcoming Christmas.
“RIFAN in Bayelsa intends to produce rice that will feed the whole nation and we are making progress; we have done the first and second phase rice harvest this year.
“In Bayelsa, we have three phases of rice harvest every year; the first stage has gone and we harvested over 400 bags; in the second stage, we got 800 bags of paddy rice, while the third phase will come between December and January 2016.
“On promoting farming in the state, we are trying to engage seriously on commercial rice farming because agriculture is a good business and key to economic growth.
“Here in the state, we trained over 1,200 young rice farmers between 2014 and this year, and most of them are working with us in the farm.
“We have also acquired over 6,000 hectares of land in Okoroba Community in Nembe Local Government Area and 5,000 hectares in Otabi community in Ogbia council area. Right now, we are working on a 40,000 hectare of land; I still want to advice the young ones to take agriculture for business; farming is no longer job for the old people.”
The chairman, however, said that the challenges facing agribusiness in Bayelsa were insufficient funding, low input supply and the lack of modern farming tools.
“We want the state and the Federal Government to help us because we have surplus virgin and fertile land for farming," Ogbianko