Irrigation: 4,127 rice farmers to benefit from CBN anchor borrower programme in Kano state
No fewer than 4, 127 registered rice farmers in Kano state are expected to benefit from the CBN anchor borrower programme during the 2017 dry season farming.
Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu, the state chairman of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview on Monday in Kano.
He said the number was, however, below the 5, 540 farmers that benefitted from the programme during the wet season.
Aliyu explained that each farmer would collect seed, fertilizer, chemical and cash.
“The total package of the facility is N163, 710 per farmer. Each farmer will receive fertilizer, seed, chemical and cash with which to pay for labour,” he said.
The chairman, however, expressed concern that no farmer had accessed the facility, even when planting was expected to be completed by the end of February.
“As I am talking to you now, none of the farmers has collected the input, let alone commence planting.”
He attributed the delay to the inability of the state Product Monitoring Team to coordinate its activities and the withdrawal of commercial banks from the programme.
“When commercial banks withdrew from the programme, the Bank of Agriculture took over, but BOA lacks the platform of a banking system.
“Many farmers spent six months without getting their account number,” he noted.
He appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria to review the guidelines on risk sharing, to enable commercial banks embrace the programme.
“Commercial banks are afraid of participating because the CBN insisted that they must take 50 per cent risk. This is the reason why they withdrew at the initial stage.”
On Growth Enhancement Scheme, the chairman commended the federal government for giving 50 per cent subsidy on fertilizer and 75 per cent subsidy on seeds.
“The GES programme is going on at all the designated redemption centres across the 44 local government areas of the state,” added.