The Federal Government has begun the distribution of cattle feed mills and rice milling machines to increase local rice production and end farmers/herdsmen clashes across the country.
Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the move was also to use agricultural wastes in feeding cattle and the larger ruminants. Ogbeh said in Oja Community, Otukpo Council Area of Benue State said that the farm implements, which include reapers, threshers, pre-cleaner of rice, and feed mills would help in improving the quality of locally produced rice.
According to him, “As we begin this experiment, we will organise more funds to build more machines to distribute nationwide. This is the solution and we believe that now that harvest is beginning, between now and the end of the year, we will have harvested enough residue and provided enough feed for the cattle in different parts of the country. The minister said that the equipment would be given to youth farmers to handle on credit and at discounted rates.
The Traditional Ruler of Otukpo, Chief John Eyimonye, appreciated the Federal Government for the equipment. According to him, with these equipment, our rice farming and production next year will be unprecedented. The traditional ruler, however, appealed to the government to provide feeder roads and dams that would facilitate the movement of agricultural goods from farms to the markets and boost the production of food.
The Youth Leader of the community, Mr Agaba Inalegwu, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, appreciated the Federal Government, adding that the youths would ensure the maintenance and security of the equipment.
Mr Charles Frimpong, the fabricator of the machines, said the machines had the capacity to produce two to two and a half tonnes per hour, adding that it would make agricultural activities easier.