The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has distributed farm inputs worth over N820 million to rice farmers in Ekiti State under its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Bode Adetoyi made this known on Friday at Aisegba town.
Adetoyi said a total of 3,102 rice farmers benefitted from the scheme, which is undertaken in collaboration with Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria .
He described the development as a fulfilment of the promise of Governor Kayode Fayemi to boost food security and make the state a leader in rice production in the country.
Adetoyi explained that each of the benefitting farmers paid a counterpart fund of N21,000 and were allocated one hectare of land in a cluster.
He added that the farmers were also given inputs such as rice seed, pre and post-emergence chemicals, rice selective herbicides, organic and inorganic fertilizers and pesticides.
Adetoyi said others were knapsack sprayers and water pumping machines, all at a cost of N264, 400.
He advised farmers interested in participating in various government’s agricultural schemes to register with the State Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.
Adetoyi said that the Fayemi – led administration had also raised hybrid cocoa and cashew seedlings for free distribution to farmers.
The State Coordinator of the project , Mr Lanre Sholaja, in his speech, said that already, there were off-takers for the farm produce after harvest.
Sholaja explained that the cost of inputs would be deducted from the valued sums while the balance would be paid to respective farmers as their profits after harvest.
He noted that the scheme had reawakened the consciousness of Ekiti farmers in the production of rice in commercial quantity.
Sholaja advised the benefiting farmers to make judicious use of the items given to them in order to achieve the desired goal.
The President of the agriculture arm of Aanuoluwapo Cooperative Multipurpose Union, Aisegba – Ekiti, Mr Sunday Olajolumo was also at the occasion.
Olajolumo commended the governor for his efforts at improving the lot of farmers and boosting food production in the state.
He pledged that the benefiting farmers would judiciously utilize the farm inputs.