Rice is Cereal plants, Oryza sativa of the grass family whose seeds are used as food. It's major species can be grown on swampy lands but nowadays, there are different species of rice that can survive in all types of soil.
The major aim of this article is to let the general public know how far Ebonyi State indigenes have gone in Agriculture this year, particularly in rice productions following the general calling for individuals, groups of individuals or public organizations to consider Agriculture as an alternative to crude oil productions in Nigeria.
There is zero foreign rice in the State as you read this article. Though, it was a great challenge to the citizens when the direct or indirect importation of foreign rice was ban totally. It is good to note that before the ban, only three species of rice were grown in the State, and those three species can only survive in swampy lands.
This made it difficult for some people to take part in the production of rice as it was left for those that have swampy lands to cultivate rice, and this must be done starting from the month of June and July. This is because those three species needs large amounts of rainfall to yield well.
As a result of these challenges, more species of local and foreign rice seedlings have been imported into the State and to my great surprise, they are yielding more seeds than the former. There are some species that can be harvested within three months. This made it possible for the Abakaliki rice farmers to have two to three rice planting seasons in a year. The planting seasons are: March, June and September. The addition of more planting seasons and special varieties of Oryza Sativa has rapidly increased rice production in Ebonyi State to more than 65% when compared to last six years.
One more challenge to rice production in the State was rice disease and pest control by the farmers. These new species are resistant to diseases. Though, the farmers have learnt to make use of herbicides to get rid of strong pest and diseases of rice unlike some years back. This new attitude of Abakaliki rice farmers has contributed immensely to increase in rice production especially this year.
From my personal observations, almost every family in the State cultivate rice this year. The good news this year is that, good number of the youths have joined the old farmers to cultivate rice this year on commercial basis. The cultivation of rice is still ongoing across the State for individuals and public organizations on commercial basis.
It is a thing of joy to know that there are about five gigantic rice mills in different locations in the State where rice processing, bragging and labeling take place on daily basis. This makes it possible for availability of rice in the State every year. Other States are not left out as their traders come to Abakaliki to buy on wholesale and retail prices.
One more challenge yet to be conquered and Abakaliki rice farmers will eventually feed the nation through Abakaliki rice is the transform from Manual farming to Mechanized farming in rice production. Mechanized farming in rice production is the process whereby bulldozers, tilling, cultivating and harvesting machines are used fully in rice productions by the farmers.
Finally, one of the reasons why people are patronizing Abakaliki rice is in its good taste, cheaper to buy, less cooking time and it's ability to swell up during cooking. Two cups of Abakaliki rice is enough for three people to eat compared to foreign rice. As for me, it is more than two years i ate foreign rice. Abakaliki rice is our favorite, farewell to foreign rice.
Comment and share with friends to help spread the good news among the youths. The needs to go back to Agriculture.
Thanks for reading.
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