By Ibrahim Bello
Birnin Kebbi, Jan. 30, 2021 At least 150,000 farmers in the 21 Local Government Areas of Kebbi are to benefit from different Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) facilities for dry and wet season farming, an official has said.
The state Chairman of Wheat Farmers Association and a member of the ABP committee, Alhaji Abdullahi Argungu, disclosed this to newsmen at the end of a stakeholders’ meeting on the programme in Birnin Kebbi on Saturday.
He said that civil servants, who are into agriculture, would be among the 150,000 prospective beneficiaries.
He said that Gov. Atiku Bagudu had ordered for the conduct of a census of genuine farmers in the state for the ABP facility.
“The census is to collate the names of only credible and genuine farmers who have farms and willing to engage in farming not restricted to rice alone.
“This is a deviation from the practice in the past, where some beneficiaries of such facilities were not genuine farmers.
“The governor is willing to assist and he wants all the farmers who are genuinely engaged in various farming activities to get all the facilities they required.
“This will certainly have a multiplier effect on the nation’s food security and that of the state,” Argungu said.
He expressed joy that the Central Bank of Nigeria interest rate of nine per cent had been reduced to five per cent to cushion the harsh impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
“Agriculture is time bound and whatever is due to these farmers will soon get to them.
“Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Company has also been brought in to ensure that any farmer who incurs loss gets reimbursed with a two per cent economic cost of production.
“The governor has directed that all the various ABP programmes, both public and private, be harmonised and standardised,” Argungu said.
The chairman further explained that district and village heads would be fully engaged in ensuring that government’s agricultural intervention programmes reached the target beneficiaries.
A participant, Alhaji Shehu Marshal -Jaga, who is the Chairman of Jega Local Government Area, lauded state government’s efforts in making sure that all the stakeholders were involved in the agricultural revolution for food security in the country.
“These efforts to generate data to be used will help farmers to attract intervention for more yields in the agricultural production,” he said.
Marshal-Jega, who is also the state Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, promised that the LGA chairmen would complement the state government’s efforts to ensure that only genuine and targeted farmers benefitted from government’s loans and programmes.
Naija247news reports that the meeting was attended by 21 LGA chairmen, top government functionaries and officials of ABP in the state.