Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The Bauchi State Government has officially launched the Anchor Borrower’s Scheme initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with 20,000 farmers successfully registering under the scheme.
The state Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, who officially launched the scheme in Gadan-Maiwa town in the state at the land preparation for the programme ceremony yesterday said his administration would accord priority to agriculture, especially laudable programmes like the Anchor Borrowers Scheme as part of efforts to empower the people; create job opportunities and tackle the challenges of food security.
He said the state government undertook to pay off the nine per cent interest on the loan to be granted farmers in the programme to encourage participation and show commitment towards the success of the programme in the state in addition to other contributions.
“The government has placed a high priority on agriculture, especially laudable programmes like the Anchor Borrowers Scheme as part of efforts to empower the people, create job opportunities and tackle the challenges of food security.
“I urge famers to seize this golden opportunity presented and boost food production in the state as well empowering themselves economically,” the governor said.
In his address at the occassion, the lead consultant in charge of the programme in Bauchi, Dr. Abdulmalik Nura, said out of the 20,000 registered farmers, 10,000 had so far been screened by field officers and representatives of participating banks.
He said they had concluded input assessment of irrigated rice enterprise production module for the state, which currently stood at N370, 000 per hectare.
“The aim of the programme is to create economic linkage between small holder farmers and reputable large scale processors with a view to increasing agricultural output and supply of feedstock to agro processors.
“Each bonafide farmer is now expected to deposit N18, 500, which is his mandatory five per cent equity contribution as prescribed by the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) guideline,” he said
He maintained that the next stage was the training of the farmers on good agricultural practice; farm enterprise management and group dynamics before the commencement of the distribution of input.
In his address, Branch Controller of CBN in Bauchi, Musa Muhammd, said the target of the programme in the state was to create economic linkages between over 100,000 small-holder farmers and reputable large scale processors in the state.