Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, The Sultan of Sokoto, has said the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN), Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has boosted local rice production.
The Sultan made this remark at the launch of the dry season wheat farming and distribution of wheat seeds to farmers under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, in Isa Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
Mr Isaac Okorafor, Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, via a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja, said the Sultan commended the CBN for making dry season farming possible.
The Sultan enjoined farmers to continue to be diligent in their farming activities as oil would only provide funds but would not put food on the table.
He harped on the need for partnership among all levels of government in order to end the farmers and herdsmen crisis.
He stated that inability to resolve the crisis could frustrate government’s efforts at food security.
Kebbi Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, said that tremendous success had been achieved since the launch of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.
Bagudu who is also the Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Rice and Wheat, revealed that where farmers have benefited from the programme, their yields increased tremendously.
The governor said that adequate funding would guarantee diversification and transformation of the agricultural sector to ensure sufficient rice production in the country.
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, said that almost 85 per cent of the state’s estimated population of about five million were engaged in farming as their main occupation.
Tambuwal disclosed that with the advent of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, 12,000 wheat and 25,000 rice farmers had been registered.
He said that the state government would continue to pursue policies to ensure the improvement of agriculture and its value chains.
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was committed to reduce heavy reliance on imported food into the country.
He commended the Sokoto State Government for meeting its equity counterpart funding, noting that the state could now access the N220 billion Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS).