By Hajara Leman
Gombe, Jan 7, 2020 About 700 rural farmers cultivating maize and cotton across the 11 Local Government Areas (LGAs), of Gombe State, have benefitted from a loan scheme by the government that would enable them purchase farm inputs.
Alhaji Usman Jafun, the state’s Commissioner for Rural, Community Development and Cooperative, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Gombe, on Thursday.
Jafun said farm inputs such as insecticides, seeds and fertiliser, had been given to the farmers as part of the government efforts at boosting food security, as well as the farmers’ income.
He, however, said they were expected to pay back the cost of the items at the end of the cropping season and sale of their farm produce.
The commissioner said the loan was been given to the farmers at 10 per cent interest, and they were given six months to pay before the next cropping season, to enable them qualify for another round of the loan.
Jafun said 75 per cent of the loan beneficiaries had already liquidated the loan and so were qualified for the second leg of the loan for the 2021 cropping season.
In a related development, the commissioner also disclosed that 752 rural roads in the state, in collaboration with the Federal Government, had been mapped out for construction, while some had already been completed.
“These roads would help farmers tackle the challenge of transporting their produce on time to markets where they are expected to sell the produce,” he said.
On the state of Gombe’s cooperative societies, Jafun said the ministry had engaged the services of a consultant that would help in reactivating the 8,000 dormant cooperatives.
He said re-activating the cooperatives was key to developing the rural communities because through the societies, more people would be empowered.
The commissioner also explained that in the area of rural electrification, the government had embarked on electrification projects in communities under Yamaltu/Deba, Shongom and Funakaye LGAs of the state.