FG earmarks N600bn interest-free loan for farmers

Minister: 2.4m rice growers’ll benefit from scheme


The Federal Government has set aside N600 billion to enhance farmers’ access to agricultural financing in the country.


About 2.4 million farmers were targeted to benefit from the interest-free facility, designed to encourage application of modern technologies in rice and cash crop cultivation.


Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, made the disclosure yesterday at the inauguration of the 2020 wet season rice cultivation support programme at Tofai community in Gabasawa Local Government Area of Kano State.


The programme is being implemented under the Agro Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS).


The minister said that the programme would support farmers in the country to improve their productivity, boost the country’s agricultural sector and enhance self-sufficiency.


He said: “We have commenced farmer registration exercise to capture their information, number of farmlands and locations.


“Also, the beneficiaries will be monitored to ensure effective utilisation of the facility, and mobilise participation in subsequent programmes.”


Nanono commended the APPEALS project for supporting rice farmers in the state, noting that the gesture would go a long way to encourage agricultural activities in the country.


According to him, such will go a long way in boosting the country’s agricultural sector, which is one of the priorities of the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.


He also appealed to the beneficiaries to make proper use of the support, which include Urea and NPK fertilizer, seeds and inputs given to them to boost their production capacity.


“If you make proper use of the inputs, you could employ other people and it will enable you to participate in  subsequent programmes.”


In his remarks, the APPEALS’ Coordinator in Kano, Malam Hassan Ibrahim, said the project is a collaboration between the World Bank, Federal Government and the six benefiting states, including Kano. According to him, no fewer than 100 farmers across six rice production groups in Gabasawa Local Government Area will benefit.


“The participating states are Kano, Kaduna, Cross Rivers, Enugu, Lagos and Kogi,” Hassan said. Speaking on behalf of the farmers, the Kano State Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Alhaji Zubairu Ibrahim, commended the gesture.


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