The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) Oyo state chapter, on Thursday received farm inputs through the Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) of the Federal Government, coordinated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The Oyo State RIFAN Chairman, Mr Samuel Akinade, speaking at the event in Ibadan said that the inputs include certified seeds, water pumps, special blend fertilizer, knapsack sprayer, herbicides and pesticides.
Akinade said that it was for the 2020 batch A rain planting and 104 farmers would benefit from it.
He added that the ABP was meant for the smallholder farmers to key into the Federal Assistance in rice farming to boost rice production in the country and improve the livelihood of farmers.
“The Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) started with us in Oyo State in 2017 dry season planting.
“Ever since, the state and other states in the federation have been enjoying it. The programme is meant for the smallholder farmers to key into the Federal Assistance in rice farming.
“This will enable us make sufficient rice production for the country and for export,” he said.
Akinade promised that the farmers would complement the government’s gestures by planting properly to contribute their quota and pay back the loan they were collecting as inputs.
Earlier, Mrs Omobukola Sulaiman, the Oyo State Head of Development Finance Office of the CBN, said that the aim of the programme was to engage smallholder farmers through the scheme.
She added that it was also to create more jobs, obtain food security and beef-up the country’s forest reserve.
She urged the farmers to utilise the inputs supplied properly so that they would be able to pay back their loans.
“The programme involves all farmers’ associations in the state and not only RIFAN,” she said.
A farmer, Mr Jacob Ajiboye, thanked the government for the assistance while promising that the farmers would make good use of the opportunity.
“If farmers are continually encouraged like this, we will surely do our best to produce more food which will definitely improve the economy,” he said.
Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Peter Dada (NAN)
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