The Federal Government, under its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), on Thursday, distributed fertilisers, seeds and inputs to 4,671 farmers in Borno for 2019 cropping season.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme is a critical component of the Federal Government’s agricultural transformation agenda.
The programme is also designed to encourage rice production and processing to achieve self-sufficiency.
It aims at enhancing farmers’ access to fertilisers, seeds, inputs, promote enterprising skills, value addition and create market for the produce.
The programme is being implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) and designated agricultural input dealers, otherwise called “private anchors’’.
Malam Muhammad Mustapha, the Manager, Northeast Commodity Association, one of the anchor’s clients, said that the farmers were provided with inputs to enable them engage in rice production.
Mustapha noted that each of the benefiting farmers received assorted fertilisers, seeds, water pump, knap sack sprayer and chemicals.
He said that the anchor company would also provide tractor services to the farmers to enable them till and plough their farmlands.
Mustapha explained that the beneficiaries included male and female farmers drawn from 19 local government areas of the state.
He listed some of the participating local government councils to include; Jere; Konduga, Chibok, Askira Uba, Hawul, Biu, Shani, Bayo, Kaga, and Mobbar.
According to him, the company has so far registered about 30, 000 farmers under the programme, to enable them participate in wet and dry season activities.
Also speaking, Mr Haruna Gogaram, the Senior Manager, Development Finance Office (DFO) in the CBN, warned farmers against diversion of the commodities.
Gogaram called on the beneficiaries to ensure effective utilisation of the inputs and engage in productive activities to enable them repay the loan.
“It is a loan which must be repaid by the beneficiaries to mobilise participation and ensure sustainability of the programme,’’ he said.
Mrs Hauwa Ahmed, one of the beneficiaries, commended the gesture, saying that it would go a long way in encouraging agricultural activities and improve the social and economic status of rural women.