The Enugu State Government has secured N2.3 billion loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to develop the Adani Rice Field in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of the state.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Mike Eneh, disclosed this in Enugu on Monday at a news briefing on the activities of his ministry in the state.
Eneh said that the loan facility from the AfDB would be used by the government to expand the rice field from its current 1,320 hectares to more than 3000 hectares.
“The farm was abandoned since 1997 and we have obtained a facility from African Development Bank to expand it to more than 3,000 hectares.
“The site is part of the Adani/Omor staple crop processing zone located between Enugu and Anambra states.
“From the Enugu component, the N2.3 billion facility would be used to develop the Adani rice farm.
“The Adani rice farm is a N5 billion state of the art processing zone.
“You do not need to look for market anywhere as what the farmers produce is collected by processors.
“We are working with a USA based organisation to help our farmers improve their productivity,” he said.
Eneh said that the productivity of farmers in Adani had increased appreciably in recent times due to modern agricultural techniques.
The commissioner said that over the years the farmers used to produce about 1.5 tons per hectare, but just last season they made up to three to four tons per hectare.
Eneh said that the state government had handed over the responsibilities of procurement and distribution of farm inputs and hiring of equipment to the private sector.
“Agriculture is now the best option for employment generation. It is now a business and there is no more government involvement in procurement and distribution of farm inputs.
He said that the state government was also developing irrigation infrastructure in six locations in the state.
According to him, a lot is being done to generate jobs for citizens of the state through agriculture.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Enugu/Anambra Staple Crop Processing Zone is among the six approved by the Federal Government in May 2015.