As part of efforts to boost rice production in the Nigeria, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Côte d’Ivoire based Africa Rice Center (ARC) have commenced the training of 300 farmers across Nigeria in paddy production technology.

According to FAO Deputy Representative to Nigeria, Nourou Macki, the exercise involves strengthening the capacities of community based rice farmers and rice seed producers for production of quality rice seed of improved variety. The trainees include youths and women.

The training, which is being conducted under the Partnership for Sustainable Rice Systems Development in Sub-Saharan Africa agreement between FAO and AfricaRice, would build national capacity, enhance sustainable development of the rice food chain among smallholder farmers and contribute to increase food security in the country.

Macki also explained that it would facilitate the emergence of efficient rice production systems for Nigeria supported through the promotion of adoption of best practices and upscaling of proven and tested technologies.

Ekiti, Edo, Anambra, Abia, Nassarawa and Jigawa have been selected for the project. 50 participants will benefit from the training in each state, along with establishment of demonstration plots and backstopping mission.

Speaking at one of the training sessions in Anamabra, representative of Africa Rice, Oyetunji Olumoye, observed that many seed producers lack basic knowledge on production of quality rice seeds.