True to his statement that he would revive agriculture by building on the policies of the past administration, President Mohammadu Buhari demonstrated the Federal Government’s commitment to agriculture by officially flagging off dry season rice and wheat farming in Kebbi state and also launching the N20billion Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) which the Central Bank of Nigeria has set aside for rice farmers across the country.
Over time, dry season has always been a challenging period for farmers because there are no irrigation facilities in the country and they most often than not, have had to incorporate different saving practices to adapt to the climate change on their own. This irreversibly results to low crop yields and the endangering of the livelihood of farmers.
It is believed that the efforts of the Federal Government to address this problem will ensure that farmers will no longer be left dry when the weather gets harsh.
President Muhammadu Buhari at the Kebbi State launch said that the importance of agriculture to the economy cannot be over- emphasised, hence, his administration would diversify the economy to give greater emphasis to agricultural production.
He also commended Kebbi state for taking the lead in the project and also it’s effort in the revival of rice and wheat production with states like Zamfara, Adamawa, Jigawa, Ebonyi, Gombe and Taraba who have also demonstrated and indicated their interest of supporting farmers.
“The importance of agriculture to the economy cannot be over emphasised because economic diversification is the only way to prosperity. Go back to the land and develop agriculture because the era of depending on oil is over,” he said.
Speaking during the event, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele said that the Anchor Borrowers’ programme was designed to create economic linkages between farmers and processors, not only to ensure the output of rice and wheat, but also to bridge the gap between production and consumption.
“Over 200,000 rice and wheat farmers will benefit from the scheme ranging from N150,000 to N250,000 to assist in procuring necessary agricultural inputs.
The programme is an initiative of the CBN aimed at creating an ecosystem to link out-growers(smallholder farmers) to local processors.
The Executive Governor of Kebbi State, Gov. Atiku Bagudu commended the CBN and assured the public that the state has the capacity to produce rice and wheat for both domestic and external consumption.
The event took place at Kebbi state yesterday, November 17, 2015.