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NDDC and Rice Farmers Association Partner to Enhance Food Security in the Niger Delta

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) have entered into a strategic partnership to bolster food security efforts in the Niger Delta region. This collaboration was announced during a recent meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, between a delegation from RIFAN led by Deputy National President Victor Korede and NDDC representatives.

Expressing the NDDC’s commitment to the initiative, Executive Director of Projects Sir Victor Antai (representing Managing Director Dr. Samuel Ogbuku) emphasized their readiness to partner with RIFAN in promoting regional rice cultivation. He highlighted the NDDC’s existing rice mills in Elele-Alimi, Rivers State, and Mbiabet-Ikpe, Akwa Ibom State, and their keen interest in adopting RIFAN’s smart agriculture approach.

This partnership aligns with the NDDC’s “Holistic Opportunities, Projects and Engagement” (HOPE) program, a key component of President Muhammadu Buhari’s “Renewed Hope Agenda.” The HOPE initiative aims to engage Niger Delta youth through agricultural employment opportunities.

“We have identified a strong interest in agriculture among our youth,” stated the NDDC. “This partnership with RIFAN represents a significant step towards achieving food security in the region, and youth engagement is critical to its success.”

The Niger Delta’s natural resources, including arable wetlands and favorable rainfall patterns, create an ideal environment for rice production, according to the NDDC. “The region has the potential for multiple rice plantings per season,” they noted. “Meaningful collaboration with RIFAN’s experienced rice farmers is essential to capitalize on this opportunity.”

The NDDC representative further emphasized the importance of diversification: “We are transitioning away from dependence on the oil industry. Agriculture offers vast employment potential for our youth. Our goal is to move beyond subsistence farming and embrace mechanization to fully unlock the agricultural potential of the Niger Delta.”

RIFAN’s South-South Vice President, Emmanuel Anoh, echoed the commitment to food self-sufficiency. “We are confident that local food production can meet national needs,” he declared. “Rice is a staple food consumed by most Nigerian households regularly. Through this partnership, we aim to demonstrate the viability of domestic rice production and contribute to the President’s vision of food self-sufficiency.”