The Katsina State Government has revealed that it generated over N82 million in profit from rice farmers, under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
The Special Adviser to the state government on Agriculture, Dr. Abba Abdallah, who disclosed this during a ministerial briefing with journalists at the Government House, said that 170,000 benefiting rice farmers were able to produce about 250,000 metric tons of rice.
He noted that an estimated sum of N4.8 million was generated as profit to farmers and N78,000,000 to state government as taxes and levies.
“Katsina State in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria implanted the Anchor Borrowers Programme in 2015.
“Farmers’ groups have taken over the management of the project with the state coordinating beginning from 2017.
“Since then, a total sum of about N12 billion has been invested in 170,000 rice farmers that benefited and were able to produce 250,000 metric tonnes of rice.
“Cotton production also attracted investment of about N16.65 billion for 42,500 farmers that produced 59,000 metric tonnes.
“The sum of N602,000 was invested on 37,747 maize farmers who produced 45,000 metric tonnes,” he explained.
Abdallah also said that the programme generated 1,207,000 and 120,000 short and long-term employment.
This, he noted, was due to the establishment of four rice mills and three new cotton ginneries across the state.
On the other hand, the SA decried the spate of farmland abandonment in the state.
According to him, no fewer than 58,000 hectares of arable farmlands in farming communities across the state have been abandoned as a result of bandit activities.
He said this had affected the food production capacity of the state in no small measure.
“500 farmlands have been abandoned by farmers in the state due to banditry.
“The abandoned farmlands amount to 58,000 hectares and this has affected 30 percent of our annual food production,” Abdallah disclosed.