, ABUJA, May 16 – Nigeria’s Minister of State for Agriculture Bukar Tijani said on Tuesday that the ministry has begun negotiations with the Chinese government to embark on hybrid rice seed production.
The minister disclosed this in Abuja at the stakeholders’ workshop on state-level implementation of Rice Value Chain Agenda for 2012.
He said the hybrid rice seed was expected to be delivered to the field before the end of the present administration.
According to him, the Nigerian government had also empowered the Seed Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN) with loans for the production of 15,000 metric tonnes of certified seeds for this year’s planting season.
The minister told the workshop that SEEDAN would provide up to 70,000 metric tonnes of the certified seeds required to cultivate more than 1.5 million hectares of land under the improved rice varieties production by 2014.
More than 60 rice varieties have been officially released and are popular among farmers and processors in the African country.
The government had imported 100 modern integrated mills from China and would soon distribute the mills to the 36 states of the federation, Tijani added.