Farmers in Kano state have produced 1,551,720 tons of rice in 2016 as against the 692,481 tons produced in 2015, the state Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has said.
Ganduje announced this at Kano Seed Processing Centre, Kadawa in Garun Malam local government area during an interacting session with farmers on loan recovery of the Central Bank of Nigeria/Bank of Agriculture/Kano state Rice Anchor-Borrowers Programme.
The governor said the state has recorded an increase of 95.2 tons and that might not be unconnected with the state government’s renewed interest in agriculture, as part of efforts to diversify the local economy.
He said: “Wheat production in the state increased from 9, 495, 024 tons in 2015 to 17, 717, 000 tons in 2016, showing a swell of 84 percent.”
He revealed that the bumper harvest recorded last year in Kano showed a significant increase in the production of other commodities like maize, millet, groundnut and cow peas, expressing that with the government’s commitment, barring unanticipated developments, the output would be multiplied this year.
On impediments to the farmers’ productivity, the governor said: “I have noticed that there are two major issues in Anchor-Borrower Programme. Farmers are complaining that they are not getting the assistance at the time they need it, and that constituted a major problem. Secondly, those who are involved in the scheme (CBN and BOA) are complaining that farmers are not paying back what has been given to them”.
Ganduje therefore, promised that these issues as well as that of availability of inputs would be addressed, as government and the banks involved, would ensure that farmers get appropriate assistance and other intervention in time.
He urged beneficiaries of the CBN/BOA/Kano state Rice Anchor-Borrowers Programme to ensure that they repay the loan given them accordingly since it is a revolving facility that will pave way for other farmers to benefit, pointing out the state is poised to increase its rice production to about half of the country’s rice requirement this year.
He maintained that his administration would concentrate more on agriculture this year to ensure multiplication of farmers output, pointing out that the administration recognizes the fact that it must work hard to improve capacity of farmers and address the many factors that contribute to their minimal productivity.
“Economic realities have shown that Nigeria’s future prosperity depends on investment in our farmers, to enable them become well prepared to revamp food productivity as oil money is no longer coming in as usual”, the governor asserted.
Earlier, the representative of Central Bank of Nigeria, Alhaji AbdulKadir Ahmad said the guarantee given by the state government was behind the success of the programme, highlighting that N960 million was allocated to Kano farmers and each got N367, 000 worth of loan, in terms of seedlings, pesticides, allied agricultural inputs and cash.
The Chairman, Kano Anchor Borrower Recovery Team, Prof. Mahmud Ibrahim Daneji clarified that about 5,540 farmers benefited from the programme and some have started paying back with farm produce, as agreed between the stakeholders, urging others to expedite repayment to avoid legal action against them.