Anchor Borrowers Scheme: Nasarawa Govt to attract N10 bn for rice farming

From Esther Akaa, Lafia

The Nasarawa State government in  collaboration with Rice Farmers Association has concluded plans to attract investment to the tune of N10bn in order to assist rice farmers in the state, under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Scheme.

The state Governor, Engr Abdullahi Sule, disclosed this while performing the flag-off of the sale of fertiliser and other agricultural inputs, for the 2020/2021 cropping season held at Andaha, Akwanga Local Government Area ( LGA) recently.

According to him, until the state is able to exploit its agricultural potentials properly, Nasarawa may not be able to generate the desired employment for the teeming population, as well as create wealth for the well-being of its citizens.

He said that his administration would   continue to collaborate with development partners and investors in the agricultural sector aimed at  reducing poverty and providing for industrial growth to attain overall food security across the 13 LGAs of the state.

The governor noted that despite the challenges bedeviling the agricultural sector such as farmers/herders
clashes, COVID-19 pandemic and the inadequate resources to fully drive the sector, his administration would not rest on its oars to providing conducive environment for investment in the agricultural sector.

“We are gathered here today to flag-off the sales of a total of 1,020 metric tons which is 20,400 thousand bags of fertiliser, 1,950 sprayers, 5 tons improved seeds and assorted agro-chemicals. Effort is underway to procure more quantities of fertiliser to help rejuvenate most of our soils that have remained less fertile and unproductive.

“We must take deliberate steps, as well as evolve means of improving our Internal Revenue Generation capacity.
It is in this connection that this administration is committed to agricultural development due to
huge agricultural potentials abound in the state.

“The fertiliser will be sold to farmers at subsidised rate of N5000 only per bag,” he said.

He, therefore, charged beneficiaries to ensure judicious use of the commodity to increase their crop yields and urged  the Ministry of Agriculture and Water
Resources, as well as the Local Government Distribution Committee to ensure that relevant small
holder farmers benefit from the gesture of government.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Water Resources, Prof. Alanana Otaki, said the Abdullahi Sule led adminstration has continued to attract several investors in the agricultural sector for the good of the state.

Prof. Otaki appreciated the efforts of government in providing excellent channel of distribution of the farm inputs to farmers in the state, noting that the good leadership style of Governor Sule has provided an enabling environment for peaceful and harmonious co-existence among the diverse ethnic groups in the state.

“As we flag-off the 2020/2021 cropping season today, I want to call on our teeming farmers to effectively make use of the good relationship and atmosphere created by His Excellency Engr A.A Sule to make Nasarawa State to become self reliant and self sufficient in food production,” he said.

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