About 9,708 rice farmers in Kogi State are to benefit from the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrowers’ programme for the 2019 dry season farming.
Kogi State Chairperson of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RICEFAN), Mrs Peace Rabi Emaikwu, who disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Lokoja, said the distribution of farm inputs to the benefiting rice farmers has commenced across the state since the past two weeks.
The chairperson, who doubles as the Special Adviser to the Kogi State Governor on Farmers’ Affairs, explained that each farmer is expected to pay 20% of the cost of the inputs to be accessed in accordance with the guidelines set for the implementation of the Anchor Borrowers’ programme nationwide.
Inputs to be accessed by farmers, she said, include fertilisers, chemicals, hose intake/discharge; water pump and pesticides, adding that the inputs are available at the ADP office in Lokoja and other designated centres in Okene, Kabba, Ibaji, Idah, Ejule and Anyigba.
She urged the benefiting farmers to maximise the opportunity given to them to boost their rice production and make more income. She warned that the inputs were not meant to be sold but utilised to boost rice productivity in the country.
Emaikwu said she has been able to recover a total of N114,386,000 from farmers that benefitted from the Anchor Borrowers’ programme in the previous farming season, adding more people were considered in the state because of the response in terms of repayment of the loan.
According to her, a total of 731 farmers benefitted at the flag off of the programme in 2017 while a total of 11,706 benefitted in 2018.
She commended Governor Yahaya Bello for the support he has continued to accord the programme which had enabled many farmers in the state to benefit from the initiative.
Mrs Emaikwu, however, appealed to the Federal Government to look into the plight of rice farmers in the state who took part in the Anchor Borrowers’ programme in 2018 but lost everything to the devastating flood that ravaged the state.