Rice farmers in Nigeria are bracing up for the dry season farming as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is set to mobilize one million rice producing farmers for the 2019/2020 dry season farming, under its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
National President of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Alhaji Aminu Goronyo who revealed this to newsmen, said that arrangements have been concluded to see to the mobilization of the farmers nationwide.
In his remarks, “The major preparation that we started is that the CBN invited RIFAN last week; met with us and gave us the nod to quickly identify the participating farmers and also gave us the go-ahead to do everything possible to achieve more production in the dry season that is already in place.”
According to Goronyo, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele had given the go-ahead to consider at least one million farmers for the dry season farmer, which by extension could produce five million metric tons of rice.
The RIFAN President also debunked the claims that the farmers could encounter problems as regards to the availability of quality seeds and fertilizers, stating that there were more than enough fertilizers and seeds in all the production areas.
Goronyo further revealed that the association has signed an MoU with the Cross River state government on the provision of seedlings. In his words, “In Cross River, we have signed an MoU to work with Governor Ayade who has a seedling factory that has enough to cater to all the farmers that are going to transplant during the cultivation period. So we don’t have a problem with fertilizer and seed.”
He also stated that the CBN has provided the necessary support, especially in those two areas, adding that there are major companies that supply agrochemicals for the control of weeds and herbicides.
In line with the directive, Goronyo disclosed that he has begun a tour of the rice-producing states across the country, to motivate and mobilize farmers to meet the five million tons target.
“I’m on a tour to all the producing states. I started touring Sokoto, Kebbi, and will be going to Zamfara, Taraba, Cross River, Ogun, Ekiti, Ebony and Anambra, virtually all the producing states.”
He further advised farmers to give rapt attention to their agribusinesses, adding that the border closure is a big opportunity for farmers to capitalize on and harness for effective production of rice, and to ensure there are enough paddies for millers across the country.