The Niger State Government has flagged-off activities to commence rice farming for the 2020 wet season.
This follows the securing of a loan deal by the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Niger State chapter, under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrower’s Programme (ABP).
Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello inaugurated the exercise on Tuesday as part of state efforts to ensure food security in the aftermath of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Bello, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Kagara, also disclosed that over 10, 000 beneficiaries would benefit from the scheme. He added the loan would be repaid after harvest.
Each beneficiary is to be paid N60, 000 in cash from Unity Bank to take care of the cost of labour on their rice farms.
The state governor also urged farmers under RIFAN to take advantage of the mechanized farm equipment procured by the state for land preparation and development.
“The potential of Niger State in Agricultural sector is considerable, and the administration of Governor Abubakar Sadiq Sani Bello is determined to see the state take its rightful place going into the future,” he noted
Bello also urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity offered by the exercise by contributing their parts towards growing a buoyant Niger State economy post-COVID-19.