Story from Haruna USMAN, Kebbi
About 150,000 farmers across the 21 Local Government Areas of Kebbi State and civil servants are expected to benefit from various Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) loans facilities for Dry and wet seasons.
The Chairman of the Kebbi State Wheat Farmers Association who also, a member of the State Anchor Borrowers Program Committee, Alhaji Abdullahi Saidu Argungu, Sarkin Noma 2020 who confirmed this on Saturday stated that the loan was also meant for all crops and other agricultural intervention programs in animal husbandry and fisheries during the 2021 dry season farming.
Argungu, who disclosed this in Birnin Kebbi, during a stakeholders meeting on the programme explained that the meeting was geared towards standardizing agricultural activities in the state focused on collation of realistic and genuine database of farming and agricultural activities ranging from crop farming, livestock and fisheries.
He said: ”The census is to collate the names of only credible and genuine farmers, who have farms and are also willing to engage in farming activities not restricted to rice farming alone.
”This is a deviation from the norms in the past were some beneficiaries of such facilities were not genuine farmers.
”The Governor is willing to assist and he also wants a situation where all those farmers who are genuinely engaged in various farming activities get all the facilities they require.
”This will certainly have a multiplier effect on the nation’s good security and that of Kebbi State.”
Argungu also disclosed that the sequel to the negative tolls of the raging global Coronavirus Disease Pandemic on the economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria extant interest rate of 9 per cent had been reduced to 5 per cent.
”Agriculture is time-bound and in sha Allahu, whatever is due to these farmers will soon get to them.
”NAIC has also been brought in to ensure that any farmer who incurs a lost gets reimbursed with a 2 per cent economic cost of production.
”The Governor has also directed that all the hitherto myriad of ABP programmes, both public and private are harmonized and standardised.”
Civil Servants would be among the target beneficiaries, he averred.
He announced governor Bagudu has also conceived a pre-retirement agricultural scheme for civil servants nearing retirement.
He further explained that sequel to the directives of the governor, traditional leaders especially District Heads and Village Heads would be fully engaged in ensuring that the Government’s agricultural intervention programs reached the target beneficiaries.
One of the participants, the Chairman of Jega Local Government Area, who doubles as the state Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), as well as the National Vice President of ALGON, Alhaji Shehu Marshal -Jaga, commended the efforts of the state government in making sure that all the stakeholders had been involved in the agricultural revolution for food security in the country.
“These efforts to generate data to be used will help farmers to attract intervention for more yields in the agricultural production,” he said.
Marshal-Jega also assured the commitment of the LG chairmen in complementing the efforts of the government in making sure that the genuine and targeted farmers benefitted from the government’s loans and programmes.
He also thanked Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu for his foresight in making sure traditional leaders at the grassroots were involved.