By Khadijat Saidu, Birnin Kebbi
No fewer than 150,000 farmers from across the 21 local governments in Kebbi State and civil servants are expected to benefit from the various Anchor Borrower’s Programme loans facilities for dry and wet seasons for all crops and other agricultural intervention programmes in animal husbandry & fisheries during the 2021 dry season farming.
This was disclosed by Alhaji Abdullahi Saidu Argungu, chairman of the Kebbi State Wheat Farmers Association and the Sarkin Noma of Argungu Emirate, during a stakeholders meeting in Birnin Kebbi.
The meeting, he said, is geared towards standardising agricultural activities in the state focused on collation of realistic and genuine database of farming and agricultural activities ranging from crop farming, livestock and fisheries.
He stated that a census of the farmers across the state was currently being taken, sequel to the directives of Governor Atiku Bagudu.
The Sarkin Noman explained that “the census is to collate the names of only credible and genuine farmers who have farms and are also willing to engage in farming activities not restricted to rice farming alone.
“This,” he said “is a deviation from the norms in the past where some beneficiaries of such facilities were not genuine farmers.”
He added that the governor is willing to assist and wants a situation where all genuine get all the facilities they require.
He said, “This will certainly have a multiplier effects on the nation’s food security and that of Kebbi State.”
Other issues discussed include the participation of stakeholders such as traditional rulers, local government structure and public officers in ascertaining authentic farmland location as well as their coordinates, including the requirements of farmers for possible assistance.
Argungu also disclosed that sequel to the negative tolls of the raging global coronavirus pandemic on the economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria extant interest rate of 9 per cent has been reduced to 5 per cent.
He said, “NAIC has also been brought in to ensure that any farmer who incurs a loss gets reimbursed with a 2 per cent economic cost of production.”
He announced that Governor Bagudu has also conceived a pre-retirement agricultural scheme for civil servants nearing retirement.
Sequel to the governor’s directive, he explained that traditional leaders especially district heads and village heads would be fully engaged to ensure that government’s agricultural intervention programmes reached the target beneficiaries.
Source: The Nation