No fewer than 60,000 cotton and rice farmers in Zamfara state will receive support from the government in a partnership it established with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to boost the state’s food system.
According to the state government, it partnered with the CBN to ensure funding of farmers under a newly designed agriculture partnership scheme.
Speaking with newsmen in Gusau, the state capital, the Special Adviser, Zamfara Directorate of Accelerated Cotton Development, ZAMDACOD, Abdullahi Maiturare, said that farmers will be financed through commodity associations.
The cotton and rice farmers will emerge from the benefiting associations: The National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN) and the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN).
Maiturare divulged that the Bello Matawalle administration was steaming up efforts to boost the state’s agro-commodity industry as part of its manifesto.
“Under this arrangement, 30,000 farmers each from the cotton and rice sectors would benefit from the partnership. The programme is already in top gear,” Maiturare told newsmen. The state government, in the SA’s remarks, had already made available 130,000 hectares of land for cotton across 17 emirates of Zamfara.
He added that the government had partnered with the Raw Materials Research and Development Council to secure 4.5 tons of cottonseed. “The cotton seed is suitable for Zamfara farmlands and is estimated to cover at least 2,000 hectares.
“The gesture is geared towards supporting cotton farmers with improved variety of seed, free of charge, and in addition to the allocation of two brand new utility vehicles to the directorate by the state government.
“This necessitated the reorganisation of the Directorate of Accelerated Cotton Development known as ZAMDACOD, and why we have been assigned to pilot the activities of the directorate,” he added.