Over 7000 rice farmers in Zamfara State are to benefit from interest-free loans by the state government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the 2017 dry season farming.
The Special Adviser to the state governor on the Comprehensive Agricultural Revolution Programme (ZACAREP), Alhaji Aminu Dankwangila, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Gusau on Monday.
Dankwangila said that out of the targeted farmers, 2,300 were registered by the state government under the special dry season pilot scheme, as part of its ZACAREP programme, while about 5,000 farmers would be registered under the CBN/Anchor Borrower’s programme.
According to him, all the farmers registered under the scheme would be given interest-free loans of agric inputs such as fartiliser, seeds, insecticides and cash for labour activities, with the agreement that after harvesting, they are to repay with their farm produce.
He said that farmers from the nine local government areas of Bakura, Bukkuyum, Bungudu, Gusau, Gummi, Maradun, Shinkafi, Talata-Mafara and Tsafe, are going to benefit under the programme.
“We selected these LGAs for the scheme out of the 14 we have across the state, considering their advantages in dry season farming.
“We came up with the idea of repayment of the loans with the produce after harvest as part of the state government’s measures to complement the Federal Government policy of ensuring food security and supply.
“We visited all the selected LGAs and we met with farmers, we trained and sensitised them, in line with the guidelines given by both state government and the CBN.
“We are hoping to give these loans to farmers in the next month, February for an early take off of the dry season farming, which is expected to end after three months, when farmers are expected to repay the loans they have received.
“We also have the plan to carry out a similar programme which is going to cover the whole state in the upcoming 2017 wet season, for which preparations will soon commence,’’ he added.
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