By FRANK OYAKHILOME
RECENTLY, the Adamawa State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Waziri Ahmad, disclosed that its Government has registered 120,000 rice and maize farmers as beneficiaries under the Anchored Borrowers initiative and more so some commercial banks would also provide funds to farmers which would be guaranteed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Ahmad who said that a total sum of N23 billion was expected to be injected into the programme, with Adamawa choosing to produce rice and maize, explained that under the scheme, a minimum of 150,000 hectares of farm land would be utilised by the farmers in producing rice and maize in 2016.
In Bayelsa, the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), the State Chapter Chairman Mr Ezekiel Ogbianko said it had registered 3,885 rural-based farmers’ cooperatives in the state in order to boost rice production as the famers were working hard to go into mechanized rice farming.
Ogbianko further disclosed that members of the cooperatives were rural-based farmers selected from the eight local government areas of the state and they are planning to organise a seminar for the farmers; the seminar will enable us to enlighten them on the necessary things on agribusiness and need for efficient food production.
Furthermore in the FG Rice Revolutionary move, the Kano State Government said it had supported rice and wheat farmers with N1.1 billion loan, as part of efforts to boost production of the two commodities in the state, the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Nasiru Gawuna, disclosed recently in Kano.
Gawuna who said that out of the total loan package, the state government had approved N1 billion for the rice farmers, while the remaining balance of N100 million was disbursed to wheat farmers, explained that the loan would enable farmers of the two crops to access quality seeds and other required farm inputs for enhanced productivity.
While in Lagos State, Mr Sanni Okanlawon, the Special Adviser to Gov. Akinwumi Ambode on Food Security, revealed that the State Government is putting finishing touches to the production of ‘Lake Rice,’ which would be available in the market in the next six months as the rice paddy would be milled at Imota, Ikorodu surburb.
Okanlawon further disclosed that the state government was collaborating with its Kebbi counterpart, to ensure that quality rice emanated from the 2.5 metric tonne-capacity mills to boost food production in Lagos State. Noting that Kebbi is the largest producer of rice paddy and the State has the capacity to mill them at our 2.5 metric tonne-capacity milling plant in Imota.
In the South East, the Ebonyi government has allocated 140 hectares of land to members of the State Executive Council (Exco) for compulsory cultivation of rice, Mr Uchenna Orji, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, announced recently when he led the exco members and top government officials to supervise rice cultivation demonstration exercise at Government Farms in Ezillo, Ishiellu LGA.
Orji said 140 hectares of land have been allocated to the exco members for rice cultivation under the Multipurpose Cooperative Societies’ requirements of IFAD and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the remaining 1, 360 hectares are reserved for other cooperative societies and individuals that have already keyed-in into the policy through the IFAD and CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme.
In the same vein in the South-South, Mr Godwin Akwaji, Coordinator of the CBN Anchor Borrower’s Programme and Senior Assistant to the Governor on Revenue in Cross River State disclosed that the Government has begun training of rice farmers that would benefit from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrower’s Programme on Rice Value Chain in the state in Calabar as the programme was designed to boost rice production.
The Team of Leader of Southern Senatorial zone, Dr Martina Ubi, during the meeting with the State Rice Farmers also lauded the determination of rice farmers to identify with the programme despite the economic challenges in the state and noted that the large turnout of farmers was an indication that the programme would succeed in the state.