Rice farmers in Kano State have called on the federal government to re-visit the processes of disbursement of interventions to farmers by the Central Bank of Nigeria, alleging that most of the interventions are not reaching the real farmers. One of the farmers, Dr Aminu Baba Nabegu, told members of the Kano concerned Citizens Initiatives (KCCI), who visited his rice farm in Garun Babba village in Kano that “real farmers that are supposed to benefit from the federal government intervention were not getting it.” Nabegu lamented that although he is cultivating about 200,000 hectors of land, he has never received any intervention from the federal government, claiming that “most of the people that benefitted from such intervention are not farmers.”
“I spent over N700m every year on cultivating my farms and I get no less than 250 bags per hector during harvesting period. Over 5,000 people are earning their living on my farms, but neither state nor the federal government ever approached me with any assistance in the name of intervention,” he lamented. He, therefore, appealed to the federal government to review the disbursement processes of its intervention to enable “real farmers benefit from it,” noting that the farmers had answered the federal government’s call for returning to farming, but in the end, they were abandoned.
Another popular rice farmer, Alhaji Zakari Sa’idu Garun-Babba, who is also into a large-scale farming, said the federal government’s budget on agriculture was insufficient to meet the demands of farmers for the whole year. He lamented that with insufficient budget, Nigeria would not achieve the expected success in the agricultural sector, appealing to the FG to map out modalities that could improve farmers’ productivity. Garun-Babba said the federal government should improve on the already existing interventions so that more farmers could benefit from the gesture, noting that there is no way, farmers could achieve mechanized-farming without government intervention. “We are facing some challenges here in Kano, government should come to our aide by de-silting the Tiga Dam, providing improved seeds and other agricultural inputs and infrastructure. The road linking Garun-Babba and Chiromawa has been in a dilapidated condition for several years, but the FG has failed to rehabilitate it,” he said.
SOURCE: DAILY TRUST