The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday in Bogo town of Gombe distributed farm inputs to cotton farmers in the state for the 2019 farming season.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that inputs were given to the farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the bank, with beneficiaries drawn from Balanga, Akko, Billiri, Gombe, Nafada, Kwami and Yamaltu-Deba Local Government Areas of the state, where cotton is cultivated in commercial quantities.
Shehu Goringo, Branch Controller (CBN) Gombe State, said the programme, which is the idea of the Federal Government, was to create economic linkage between smallholder farmers and reputable large-scale processors to increase agricultural output.
Goringo stressed that the effort of government was to ensure steady diversification of the economy from oil to agriculture, adding that the strength of the nation lied in the agriculture sector.
He urged the farmers to make good use of the inputs to enable them repay the loans to sustain the programme.
Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State, who spoke through his deputy, Dr Manassah Jatau, thanked the apex bank for supporting cotton farmers in the state.
Yahaya appealed to the bank to review the 9 per cent interest rate to encourage more farmers to take up loans.
The governor stressed that his administration would focus on farming, with a view to returning the state to the good days when agriculture sustained the economy of the nation, adding that his administration was passionate about farming.
Earlier, the chairman of cotton farmers association in the state, Alh. Jauro Bappi, who was represented by Alh. Sadiq Addo, lauded the Federal Government for supporting cotton farmers in the state.
He assured the CBN that there would be strict monitoring of members to ensure repayment of the loan loans.
In his remarks, the Emir of Gombe, Alh. Abubabar Shehu-Abubakar III, who was represented by Alh. Inuwa Mohammed, thanked the government for such initiative.
The Emir appealed to farmers to be judicious in using the inputs, adding that they should be mindful of the fact that the gesture was not a ‘gift’ but must be repaid.
NAN also reports that pesticides, seven bags of fertiliser, pump sprayers and cotton seeds were presented to each farmer by the deputy governor as part inputs for the 2019 wet season farming in the state.