No fewer than 4,000 rice farmers in Sandamu Local Government Area in Katsina State are to obtain agricultural loans under the 3rd batch of the Federal Government’s anchor borrower’s programme.
Alhaji Usman Nalado-Matawallen, Chairman, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Sandamu Local Government chapter, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Sandamu that the data capture of the farmers was currently ongoing.
He said that the beneficiaries would receive agricultural inputs like fertilizer, insecticides, herbicides, seedlings, organic chemicals, sprayers and water pumping machines .
“The inputs will be distributed by next month as revolving loan which is expected to be repaid with bags of paddy rice within one year,” he said.
Nalado-Matawallen, who promised to strictly monitor the repayment process, lamented that only 35 per cent repayment rate had been recorded from the first and second batches of the loan earlier disbursed to 1,200 farmers.
He advised beneficiaries of the first and second trenches of the loan to hasten repayment to enable others benefit, stressing that it was not a gift.
“Those yet to pay must try to do so; we shall soon fish out defaulters for appropriate punitive measures,” he said.
The chairman appealed to the stakeholders in the agricultural sector to establish befitting rice processing mills and drill 1,000 additional tube wells to accommodate more farmers.
He expressed happiness that the scheme was achieving its goals, saying that hundreds of farmers had become millionaires, while jobs had been created.
“The scheme has also made it possible for us to to attain food security while rice importation has drastically reduced,” he added.
He called on interested farmers, who can repay the loan, to hasten the efforts toward accessing it so as to achieve self-sustainability and everlasting food security .
The farmer commended the Federal government, Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bank of Agriculture for introducing the scheme, and disclosed that the Sandamu local chapter of RIFAN had a total of 6,500 registered farmers. (NAN)