The North East Commodity Association (NECAS) has procured 220 motorcycles and distributed to extension agents in the region.
NECAS also distributed utility vehicles to the all the zonal supervisors for easy accessibility to over 20,000 farmers.
The states are Taraba, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Yobe states, while Borno was not included because of insecurity.
Mallam Sadiq Daware, the National Presient NECAS made this known in Abuja on Monday.
Daware said that earlier N14.9 billion loan was distributed to the NECAS farmers under the platform of Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
He said that inputs were also given to farmers on loan basis and they were expected to pay back in three phases.
“Starting with first payment of 40 per cent after the first farming cycle, then they would pay the remaining two cycles of 30 per cent making a total of 100 per cent.
“Before now, the size of each farm had been captured and an identity card was issued to each of the beneficiaries of the project for easy identification and documentation to enable them to access the required support.
“The agents are to oversee all the farms in the North east that are producing rice, maize, millet, sorghum and even small ruminants amongst others.’’
Dware said that for the successful implementation of the exercise, the extension workers had been taught the working systems of modern technologies in service delivery and they were optimistic that the training would be beneficial to the farmers.
According to him, the efforts are geared toward encouraging increased agricultural production in line with the drive to diversify the economy.
“NECAS has 128 retired extension agents recruited privately for the programme in Adamawa, the programme is in other five states and they are re-trained on modern technologies in enhancing their job performance.
“For example, they are supervising 11,525 farmers that are cultivating 38,678 hectares of land for maize, sorghum, soya beans, rice and cotton in Adamawa, while the nearest to it Yobe where farmers are cultivating 14,666 hectares of land by 5,676.
“It has remained one of the prime movers in the development of agriculture and invariably in the rural development.
“There specific objectives as agricultural extension officers are to provide advice to farmers on problems or opportunities in agricultural production, facilitate development of local skills and transfer new technologies to farmers and rural people,’’ he said.
Deware said the association had also developed a suitable extension service “that is gender specific and tailored to women farmers’’.
He said this had become imperative because of the very important roles women played in agricultural production as they constituted the bulk of food producers. (NAN)