By Ibrahim Shuaibu
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Sabo Nanono, has said that the federal government has set aside N600 billion as loan support to farmers across the country.
Speaking in Tofai community, Gabasawa Local Government Area of the state Monday, during the flag-off of the 2020 wet season adoption of improved production technologies among rice farmers, Nanono that no fewer than 2.4 million farmers are expected to benefit from the loan which has zero interest.
“I want to inform you that we have commenced the registration of farmers in the country. We are going to capture their information, number of farms they have and also their locations.
“Also, any beneficiary will be monitored, because we want to make sure that you utilise the opportunity so that by next year, other people will also be self reliant through you,” he said.
According to the minister, the gesture will support farmers in the country to improve their productivity aimed at boosting the country’s agricultural sector.
The agricultural project is under the Agro Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support project (APPEALS).
The minister further commended the APPEALS project for supporting rice farmers in the state, especially in Gabasawa Local Government Area.
According to him, such will go a long way in boosting the country’s agricultural sector, which is a priority of President Muhammad Buhari’s administration.
He also appealed to the beneficiaries to make proper use of the support, which include Urea and NPK fertilizer, varieties of rice seeds and treasure machine, among other things.
“If you can make proper use of all these, other people can be employed under you, and whenever another support comes, you will not be forgotten,” he said.
In his remarks, the APPEALS’ Coordinator in Kano, Mr Hassan Ibrahim, said the projects is a collaboration between the World Bank, federal government and the six benefiting states, including Kano.
He stated that no fewer than 100 farmers across six rice production groups in Gabasawa Local Government Area will benefit.
He said that the support was to complement the federal government policy on agriculture, which include promoting food security, improving farmer’s production and also increasing exportation.
“The APPEALS Project in Nigeria is to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium farmers and improve value chains in the six participating states.
“The participating states including Kano, Kaduna, Cross Rivers, Enugu, Lagos and Kogi,” Hassan said.
He added that 480 tonnes of rice is expected to be produced by the 100 farmers across 120 hectares of land.
Speaking on behalf of the farmers, the Kano State Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Zubairu Ibrahim, commended the federal government for the gesture.
He further assured the minister that the association will do everything possible to see that the beneficiaries utilise the fund judiciously.