Some of the 3, 509 farmers in Kwara State have begun to benefit from the first phase of the N1billion 2018 Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) facilitated by the CBN and the Kwara State Government.
The Special Adviser (SA) to the Governor on Agriculture and Rural Water Support, Anu Ibiwoye, disclosed this on Tuesday in Ilorin, the state capital at the capacity training workshop for farmers.
According to him, 500 maize farmers, 350 soya beans farmers, 250 cassava farmers and 150 rice farmers will get various sums as loans under the scheme.
He said each farmer would receive farm inputs depending on the size of his farm.
“Let me remind you today that this empowerment that you will receive is coming to you as loans. We hope that these inputs will be judiciously used and the loans paid back so that other farmers can benefit.
“The farmers shortlisted for the phase one of the scheme will begin to receive their inputs starting immediately after the capacity building session today,” he said.
The SA congratulated the beneficiaries and appreciated the commitment of the state government in its efforts to make life better for the people of the state.
“Today is another milestone as part of the state government’s commitment to put agriculture as a priority sector through which it seeks to boost food production, transform the rural economy, create jobs, reduce social vices and empower our rural farmers.
“This initiative will further consolidate on previous initiatives of government to support our farmers,” Mr Ibiwoye said.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Adegoke Bamidele, charged the beneficiaries to be conscious of their responsibilities.
He also advised them to abide by the rules of the game and ensure that they adhered to all the conditions stipulated by the government and the CBN.
“The new initiative by the state government to obtain N1billion loan from the CBN through the ABP platform is to further empower local farmers engaged in the production of rice, maize, soya beans and cassava,” he said.
According to him, the programme’s thrust of the ABP is the provision of farm inputs in kind and cash to small holder farmers to boost production of rice, maize, soya beans and cassava.
He also said the thrust was to stabilize inputs supply to agro-processors and address the country’s negative balance of payments on food.
“At harvest, the small holder farmer will supply his/her produce to the Agro-processor (Anchor) who pays the cash equivalent to the farmer’s account,” Bamidele said.
In his speech, Mr Adekunle Ajala from the Department of Finance Office (DFO) of CBN, urged farmers to make use of the loan judiciously to better the economy of the state and the nation in general.
A beneficiary, Mr Babatunde Badamosi appreciated the state government’s efforts at improving the conditions of the farmers in the state.
He advised them to make use of the opportunity to sell agriculture from the country to the world.