Katsina State chapter of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, RIFAN, has commenced disbursement of agricultural inputs to 15,811 rice farmers under the first batch of the Federal Government Anchor Borrowers Scheme for dry season period.
Shuaibu Wakili, the State Chairman of the chapter, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Daura on Friday.
He said the association had captured the data of 100,000 rice farmers across the 34 local government areas in Katsina State in which 15,811 are to benefit in the first batch.
He said that the remaining number would be covered during the second and third batches of the disbursement.
Mr Wakili said the farmers were supplied with agricultural input which include fertilizer, insecticides, herbicides, seedlings, water pumping machine, sprayers and organic fertilizer.
He said the number of hecters of land registered against an individual farmer or organization determined the quantity of the inputs to be given, saying the inputs are being supplied to farmers as revolving loan.
The chairman reiterated that the benefiting farmers were expected to repay the loan either with bags of paddy rice or cash commensurate with what was granted them.
He said the repayment period was only one year to enable others to benefit.
Mr Wakili said his association has so far received 3,000 bags of paddy rice and over N250 million as repayment for the previous disbursement which took place between 2017 and 2018.
“We have so far received loan repayment from 16,500 farmers,” he said
He said the association has received delivery of 70 mini rice milling machines which were distributed, two units per local government area, adding that the machine brought some ease to farmers in processing and milling rice.
He said the anchor borrower scheme had significantly boosted food security in Nigeria and opened job opportunities to millions of Nigerians.
Mr Wakili lauded the efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Agriculture, and the Unity Bank for the way the loans were disbursed.
He assured that the 250,970 registered farmers under the organization are eager to cast their votes for President Muhammadu Buhari in the forthcoming general elections, saying they never had it so good.
He said farmers were the first set of Nigerians to experience the positive impact of the Buhari administration through the transformation of the agricultural sector and the construction of roads.
He said this facilitated easy transportation of agricultural produce from production points to the market.