No fewer than 40,000 rice farmers in Kano State will benefit from the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) to accelerate paddy rice production.
The state Chairman of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu, said the programme would provide fertilisers and inputs to 15,000 rice growers during the dry season activities while 25,000 others would be supported during the 2022 cropping season.
ABP is a critical component of the FG’s Agriculture Transformation Agenda designed to enhance farmer access to inputs, agricultural financing, encourage farmer enterprising skills, value addition and provide market for the produce.
ABP is being implemented in collaboration between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), consortium of commercial banks and state governments through agro-dealers otherwise called “anchor clients.”
“But, we didn’t participate in this dry season due to some problems between the CBN and other financial institutions. The government decided to convert the 40,000 targeted farmers to wet season, depending on how things work,” he said.
According to him, each of the benefitting farmer will receive inputs worth N160,000 to enable him to cultivate one hectre of land, adding that they are expected to repay the loan in kind at harvest.
The chairman also decried the poor attitude of some of the beneficiaries to repay their loans, adding that, “the Federal Government offered inputs to about 150,000 farmers in the state during the last season.
“However, the loan recovery is poor, as people are reluctant to refund.
“The number of farmers who repaid the loans was negligible considering the high number of those involved.
“That is why this time around, we involved traditional institutions and the courts before giving inputs to the farmers, and we are still recovering the past loans,” he said
He further called for the upgrade of some of the dams to encourage irrigation activities, boost rice production and enhance food security programme.