The Bayelsa chapter of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) says it will complete the clearing of lands in different communities for rice farming within the next two months.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the lands are located in communities like Asiengbene, Yenagoa Local Government Area (LGA); Ondowari and Okpotuwari in Southern-Ijaw LGA and Ofoni in Sagbama LGA.
Mr Ezekiel Ogbianko, state Chairman of RIFAN, told NAN in Yenagoa on Thursday that 5, 000 hectares of land were being cleared in each of the communities.
He said that the land clearing was in preparation for the forthcoming rice planting season.
Ogbianko, who pledged RIFAN’s readiness to boost rice production in Bayelsa, noted that the clearance of the lands in the communities had reached different stages of completion.
“We expect the contractors to round up the land clearing within two months and we hope to start planting as soon as the clearing is done.
“We hope to engage some youths, over 250 of them, in each of the farmlands,’’ he said.
Ogbianko, however, said that the association had yet to fix a date for the commencement of the rice planting.
One of the contractors, Mr Stanley Yangboya, Managing Director, Itu Stainless Resource Limited, told NAN that if RIFAN released adequate funds, the land clearing project would be completed in less than two months.
“We started work in early April and we are progressing; if they can mobilise us properly, we hope to meet up with the project completion period of two months,’’ he said. (NAN)