A total of 320,852 farmers registered in 12 states under the CBN’s Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) are to participate in a dry season rice cultivation programme initiated by a group, Himma National Farmers Cooperative Society.
Chairman of the Society, Sheikh Bala-Lau, stated this at the closing ceremony of a two-day training exercise of 30 volunteer master trainers, on Thursday in Kano.
Bala-Lau, who is also the Chairman of an Islamic Propagation Group (JIBWIS), said the exercise was designed to build the capacity of the volunteers on modern farming techniques through the ABP scheme.
The chairman, represented by Sheikh Yakubu Musa, said the volunteer master trainers were expected to step down the training at the grassroots to facilitate attainment of the objectives of the ABP.
Bala-Lau listed Adamawa; Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara as some of the participating states.
“We are encouraging farmers to be guided by Islamic tenets to ensure effective utilisation of the facility and full repayment of the loan,” he said.
The chairman enjoined the youths to avail themselves of the opportunities presented by the ABP to key into agriculture and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
While commending the Federal Government for the programme, Bala-Lau urged the participants to use what they learnt during the training exercise to encourage agricultural productivity in their respective communities.
Also speaking, Alhaji Ahmad Yusuf-Doro, Managing Director, TECHPLOT, said the programme will be implemented in a collaboration between JAIZ Bank and TECHPLOT, with the support of the CBN.
Yusuf-Doro said his company was providing technical support to the Society to fast track implementation of the programme, explaining that the farmers would be supported with fertilisers, seeds, chemicals and other inputs to enable them cultivate 320,582 hectares of rice.
“It is an interest free facility to be repaid at harvest; it is part of the Federal Government’s programme to support small holder farmers achieve self sufficiency and food security,” he said.
ABP is designed to enhance farmers’ access to inputs and credit facilities, promote farmer enterprise skills, processing, and value addition to provide market for the produce.
The programme is being implemented by the CBN through consortium of commercial banks and agricultural inputs suppliers otherwise called “prime anchor clients.”