By Shehu Danjuma
Katsina Government has set aside eight billion naira to boost the agricultural sector in the 2017 budget.
Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State stated this during the launching of the state/CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme on rice for 2016/2017 Dry Season Farming on Thursday in Jibia, Katsina State.
‘’The Katsina State Government has given top priority to the agricultural sector which is the mainstay of people of the state.
‘’We have set aside billions of naira for the agricultural sector because 90 per cent of Katsina citizens are farmers.
‘’We are targeting 20,000 farmers that will actively participate in the Anchor Rice Programme in the state,’’ he said.
The governor disclosed that the state government had expended more than N300 million for the rehabilitation and expansion of 10 dams that were being used for irrigation.
Masari called on the farmers to make maximum use of the rice farming so as to become self-reliant.
In his remarks, the state’s Deputy Governor, who also serves as Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Mannir Yakubu, commended the administration for participating in the programme due to its inherent benefit to people of the state.
‘’The anchor borrowers programme is primarily a developmental initiative aimed at increasing production, processing and marketing of the total farm produce.
‘’It is also designed to help local farmers to gain access to quality inputs such as improved seeds, fertilizer, water pumps, herbicides and pesticides among others,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that part of the goals of the scheme is to raise internal production of staple foods thereby conserving the nation’s foreign reserved.