By Stephen Adeleye
No fewer than 2, 620 registered rice farmers in nine Local Government Areas in Kogi will benefit from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrower programme for the dry season farming.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Tim Diche, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja on Saturday.
Diche said that only registered farmers in the nine local governments along river basins and those that have rivers and dams available to them to do irrigation would access the loan for dry season farming.
He said the local governments are; Ibaji, Idah, Igalamela, Bassa, Kogi, Yagba west, Ajaokuta, Adavi, and Lokoja.
“Due to the urgency of the programme, only farmers who have been captured on our database will benefit from the loan, while others who are yet to be captured will have to wait till next year.
“The anchor borrower programme was faced with lots of challenges in the state, and that is why the registered farmers are unable to access the fund for the wet season farming.
“The state is the anchor and we are ambitious to get it done, but other stakeholders like the Bank of Agriculture, Commercial banks and others are not at that speed.
“We will make sure that we prepare early next year so that all interested farmers will be able to access the loan before the wet season planting begins,” Diche said.
The commissioner, therefore, urged all stakeholders involved in the programme to synergise and harmonise ways to boost and ensure adequate rice production in the state.
He also advised the farmers to maximise the opportunity provided to them by the state and Federal Government through the CBN to boost food production.
Diche noted that the state government was doing its best to encourage farmers in terms of farm inputs, storage facilities, good access roads, food processing and marketing to ensure food security across the state.