Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who is also the chairman of the National Task Force on Rice and Wheat,has handed out 100 tractors and other agricultural equipment he bought for farmers in the state. Bagudu, on tour with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele and the representative of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Chief Audu Ogbeh, Alhaji Azeez Musibau Olumuyiwa, a director in the ministry said the objective of the tour was to see how farmers and processors were responding to the call by President Muhammadu Buhari to grow more food as well as the impact of ABP.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, promised better support for farmers to boost food production. Speaking while inspecting rice farms in Itane, Ketar Fulani and Gwadan Gwaji villages in Kebbi State, as part of the Federal Government’s efforts to make the country food sufficient, Emefiele stressed the government‘s commitment to agricultural production, adding that the bank was ready to provide support to farmers and commercial banks as they advance agricultural development in the country.
Emefiele, ffirmed that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) was yielding result due to farmers’ access to good seedlings, pesticides and fertiliser, as well as support from the state government. Emefiele, who expressed satisfaction with farmers who listened to the clarion call to embrace farming as a business venture, said the major objectives of ABP had been largely achieved.
According to him, the objectives of the ABP include assisting rural small holder farmers to grow from subsistence to commercial production level, increasing capacity utilisation, creating jobs, reducing poverty, and increasing banks’ financing of the agricultural sector, among others. He expressed confidence that Nigeria’s target to feed herself would be achieved.
Observing that some farmers were yet to register for the Bank Verification Number (BVN), Emefiele urged the farmers to do so to enable them access the ABP facility. He assured that the facility would be spread to many people.
Chief Audu Ogbeh also assured of the ministry’s commitment to working with the CBN to ensure the success of the agricultural intervention programmes, in line with the Federal Government’s aspiration.