Rice Farmers Express Delight With Harvest In Anambra State
Rice farmers in Anambra have described this farming season`s harvest as manifestation of great success which recorded an average of six tonnes per hectare as against previous three tonnes.
The farmers expressed their joy in separate interviews with some journalist during a `Brown Field Day` to harvest their crops at Ufuma in Orumba North and Omor in Ayamelum Local Government Areas at the weekend.
The increase in harvest followed the state Government’s sponsored Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) intervention for farmers at the commencement of this year`s farming season. Mrs. Bidget Orji, the leader of 10-member Chinenye Multipurpose Cooperative Society in Ufuma, said the rice harvested under the VCDP
training and support was higher as against the farmers’ expectations.
“We were taught to plant nursery in lines before transplanting to the farm after 28 days; after two days, we apply fertilizer and after 10 days, again, we apply urea. “The training had helped to reduce loss, save cost and improve yields, “ Orji said, adding that she realized 843.3kg of rice paddy as against 417.4kg of rice paddy on 0.125 hectare. Also, Mr. Peter Okonkwo, the leader of 20 member-Great Minds Multipurpose Cooperative Society, at Omor, recorded 70 bags of 100kg of rice paddy harvest. He described it as successful.
“They (VCDP) kept to their promises of assisting us with inputs and training even when it was obvious that they came late during the farming season; we still recorded success’’, Okonkwo said. He said farmers were willing to partner with VCDP to further optimise yields in the next planting season and appealed for fund and early
release of inputs, especially tractors. Mr Ernest Nwogu, a consultant on agricultural extension service, said
the Day was organized to bring together all rice farmers within the cluster to witness harvest and post-harvest agronomy practices. “Before now, we had taught them how to plant and manage their rice fields; the final stage is the harvesting and post-harvesting activities. “We have seen the astronomic increase due to the adoption of technologies that improve productivity; part of the success was the timeliness of operation even for second cropping’’, he said.
An official of VCDP, Mr Emmanuel Chukwukwelu, said rice harvest was conducted in the five participating local government areas of Awka North, Orumba North, Ayamelum, Anambra East and Anambra West.
Chukwukwelu expressed satisfaction with the level of harvest in the field and assured that tractors and farm inputs would be provided for farmers early in the planting season. “We have prepared a budget and business plans for 2017 so that before the farming season sets in, we are already on the farms with the farmers’’, he added.