With the rainy season now in full swing, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has confirmed the distribution of farm inputs to its members to help them kickstart the planting season.
The FCT chairman of RIFAN, Alhaji Abubakar Dahiru-Zuba, who flagged of the initiative in Gwagwalada where agrochemicals, seedlings, fertilisers, water pumps, sprayers, and tractors were distributed to farmers, said that 2,555 rice farmers were earmarked to benefit from the inputs.
Dahiru-Zuba said, ‘RIFAN took its time to go round to identify the genuine rice farmers, and we have registered 2,555 of them across the FCT and they are the ones that are benefiting from the inputs’.
Present at the flagging off ceremony, an extension worker of RIFAN, Alhaji Zakari Adamu Gbedako, urged residents of the FCT present to embrace rice farming which is now a major contributor to the nation’s economy.
Similar to this initiative, the Maize Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MAGPAMAN) also distributed farm inputs to its members in Bwari Area Council, under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) maize Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP).
The national president of the association, Dr Edwin Uche, disclosed that 70,000 farmers were participating in the ABP across the country, with farmers set to receive ₦182,000 each per hectare to support production.
Dr Uche added, ‘Other services captured in the programme include technical support, extension services and land preparation. We are passionate about ensuring that the farmers grow based on global best practices and have the actual yields that will enable them to pay their loans, come out of poverty, help their families and build their local economy.
‘[Considering] the kind of quality seed we are giving them from Seed Co Nigeria[, w]e are expecting a minimum of five tonnes per hectare, and when a farmer is paying with two tonnes, he has three tonnes as profit, which no civil servant earns in three months’.
Source: Daily Trust
Photo source: Joe Coyle