Sabo Nanono, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on that Monday said the Federal Government has reserved N600 billion to strengthen farmer entry to agricultural financing in the nation.
He also said that about 2.4 million farmers were targeted to benefit from the interest-free facility, they will now have the ability to purchase what they need for farming and the program was designed to motivate the application of modern technologies in rice and cash crop cultivation.
The minister made the acknowledgement at the induction of the 2020 wet season rice cultivation support programme at Tofai neighbourhood in Gabasawa Local Government Area of Kano State.
Reports from the News Agency of Nigeria reveals that the programme is being implemented under the Agro Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS).
Nanono said the enterprise would benefit farmers to accomplish exceptional productivity, enhance self-sufficiency and food safety in the nation.
He said that they have kicked off with farmer registration exercise to capture their information, number of farmlands and locations.
“Also, anybody that benefits from this program will be monitor to ensure effective utilisation of the facility, to make such they don’t misuse the money and mobilise participation in subsequent programmes.”
Nanono commended the APPEALS project for supporting rice farmers in the state, remarking that the gesture would go a long way to motivate agricultural activities in the country. The minister exhorted the beneficiaries to make good use of the of fertiliser, seeds and intakes given to them to boost their output capacity.
“If you make adequate use of the inputs, you could employ other people and it will enable you to participate in successive programmes.”
Also speaking, the Coordinator, APPEALS Project in the state, Hassan Ibrahim, said the project was being executed in a joint collaboration between the World Bank, Federal Government and the six participating states.
Ibrahim listed the participating states to include Kano; Kaduna, Cross Rivers, Enugu, Lagos and Kogi.
He added that about 100 farmers drawn from six rice farmer groups partook in the programme in Gabasawa, Kano.
The coordinator noted that the indication was to improve the Federal Government’s policy on agriculture, formulated to encourage productivity, enhance farmer enterprising abilities, food safety and value expansion as well as promote export.
“The APPEALS Project in Nigeria is to strengthen agricultural productivity of small and medium proprietor farmers, since the President put a ban on most importation of food, the quantity of food has been soaring very high and expensive, and to improve value chains in the six contributing states,” he said.
He put in that 480 tons of rice were anticipated to be produced by the selected farmers in Kano State. hopefully, this will cut down the amount of rice
On his part, Alhaji Zubairu Ibrahim, Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in the state, praised the Federal Government’s agriculture modification programmes.
Ibrahim said the association would accept assertive gauges to assist its members to benefit from viable agriculture improvement programmes and farmer support services initiated by the government.