Farmers in Adamawa State have called on the federal government to ensure the sustainability of the Anchor Borrowers scheme saying it is a sure path towards attaining food sufficiency in Nigeria, RUTH TENE NATSA write
In line with the federal government’s push to diversify the economy and make agriculture a major revenue earner for the country, the Anchor Borrowers’ programme was conceived and is being implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Ministry of Agriculture in conjunction with State governments.
The programme is designed to assist small scale farmers to increase the production and supply of food produce to agro-processors. It is aimed at creating an ecosystem to link out-growers (small holder farmers) to local processors, increase banks’ financing to the agricultural sector, enhance capacity utilisation of agricultural firms involved in the production of identified commodities as well as the productivity and incomes of farmers.
The programme which kicked off training of 40,000 farmers in Adamawa state on January, 4, 2017, has Kuro communication limited as one of the facilitators. The firm has so far trained 247,000 farmers in several states such as Kebbi, Edo, Zamfara, Cross River and Benue, using modern agricultural methods with the aid of a training manual.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP on the sidelines of the training on rice produce in Adamawa State, a participant who identified himself as Joel Yunana, from Mubi North local government, commended the government and the facilitators for the success of the exercise.
Yunana urged the government to ensure that the programme is extended to every part of the country, as a way to ensure that Nigeria becomes self-sufficient in agricultural produce. He said, “We have done the training successfully in our LGA, we appreciate the trainers, now we can conduct our farming business better.
Their boss Mr. Michael Enahoro, made sure nobody was left behind, he ensure that everybody participated in the training.
“We are eager to go to the field and demonstrate what we have been taught.We thank the President for the Anchor Borrowers’ programme and hope that he extends this programme to every part of the country.
He added that “If this programme can be on continues basis, I believe that Nigeria will come out of food shortage and attain sufficiency. We believe that the President Muhammadu Buhari wants the country to achieve food sufficiency so his government must ensure that the programme is made to continue.”
Speaking in the same vein, another participant, Mohammed Alkali Adamu, also from Mubi North Local Government praised the government and the facilitators for the manner in which the exercise was conducted.
He said, “We were divided into groups for ease of learning, given instruction manuals specifying what to do, in fact this exercise was conducted as if we were in a tertiary institution. In a class we were about 50 to 60 participants, before entering a class we undergo security screening. It was well coordinated and all the farmers who took part in this exercise have been praising government for this initiative and have all been expressing satisfaction with the way it was conducted.”
He further maintained that for Nigeria to progress to a level of food sufficiency and become a major exporter of agricultural produce, the federal government must ensure continuity of the Anchor Borrowers scheme.
Meanwhile, Flagging-off the training in Yola, Adamawa State Governor, Jibrilla Bindow, reiterated that his administration was committed to agriculture which constituted the mainstay of the state’s economy.
Represented by his deputy, Mr Martins Babale, the governor said the goal was to ensure that farmers were engaged all year round for maximum benefit from dry and wet season farming.
“Let me reiterate our government’s commitment to adopt all policy option that will move our state from civil service dependent economy to one that relies on productive enterprises such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
“The Anchor Borrower Scheme is a key component of that policy option. We are committed to ensuring massive participation in this scheme and other poverty reduction and wealth creation schemes, and ensuring increased dominance and visibility as the biggest rice and livestock producing state in the country,” Bindow said.
Remarking, the Managing Director of Kuro Communications Ltd, Mr. Michael Enahoro, pledged to ensure the success of the programme, while expressing his belief that agriculture will be the major revenue earner for Nigeria.