The Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday distributed fertilisers and inputs to 5,676 wheat farmers for the 2021 dry season activities in Bauchi State.
Our correspondent that the inputs were distributed to the farmers at Zirma Bakin, Kogi village in Warji Local Government Area of the state under the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP).
ABP is a critical component of the Federal Government’s agriculture transformation programmes aimed at encouraging productivity to achieve self-sufficiency in food production.
It also focused at enhancing farmer access to inputs, new technologies and agricultural financing as well as encouraging processing, value addition and farmer enterprising skills.
The programme is being implemented by the CBN in partnership with states and consortium of commercial banks through inputs dealers otherwise called “Anchor Clients.”
Mr Aminu Haruna, CBN’s Development Finance Officer (DFO), Bauchi Zonal Office, said that farmers in the state had been selected to participate in the programme to accelerate wheat cultivation.
He said, “the wheat farming is introduced by the CBN to assist small holder farmers to cultivate wheat towards enhancing food security in the country.
“We are targeting 15,000 wheat farmers in Bauchi State, now we have the first batch here and other batches are also coming up soon,” he said.
According to him, the wheat cultivation programme is being implemented in collaboration with the Wheat Farmers, Processors and Marketers’ Association of Nigeria (WFPMAN).
In his remarks, Mr Ibrahim Sadiq, Bauchi State Coordinator of the association, said that the apex bank would distribute inputs to the farmers to enable them to improve their productivity.
Sadiq listed the items to include assorted fertilisers, seeds and chemicals, adding that each of the benefitting farmers recieved items worth N360,000 to cultivate one hectre of land.
He said the farmers were expected to repay the loan in kind at harvest.
“The idea is to boost wheat production, it is about the second largest consumer of our Foreign Exchange, apart from oil.”
“So, we need to farm and we need to feed ourselves,” he said.
Also, Alhaji Alhasan Samaila-Boyi, the District Head of Warji, warned against diversion of the inputs and urged the beneficiaries to utilise the inputs to boost their production.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr Kassim Idris, lauded the gesture, and pledged to work towards achieving higher yields at harvest.