The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in collaboration with the Project Monitoring Team of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrower’s Programme (ABP) has begun biometric data capturing of rice farmers.
The Zamfara RIFAN Chairman, Ishaq Ajiya-Anka, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gusau on Friday.
HAjiya-Anka said that the data capturing was for the 2018 dry and wet seasons farming.
Ajiya-Anka who is a member of the monitoring team, noted that the team was responsible for implementing the CBN/Anchor Borrower’s Programme in the state.
He said the team had representatives from RIFAN and the Bank of Agriculture (BOA).
“We have already started biometric data capturing of farmers as well as farmland mapping in Bungudu and Shinkafi LGAs of the state,’’ the official told NAN.
He said that the two LGAs were among the nine of the 14 LGAs of the state selected for the 2018 CBN Anchor Borrower’s Programme dry season farming in the state.
Ajiya-Anka listed the remaining seven LGAs to include Anka, Bakura, Bungudu, Gusau, Maradun and Talata-Mafara.
He told NAN that that over 4,000 rice farmers had so far been registered in the two LGAs alone.
“We are targeting over 60,000 farmers across the state.
“President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 launched this programme in Kebbi State, but in Zamfara we had not participated in the programme due to some problems but now, we will participate fully.
“We have been sensitising farmers to this programme; so all the farmers we are registering are aware of this programme and willing to participate and cooperate,’’ he said.
Ajiya-Anka noted that farmers would be given inputs such as fertiliser, seeds, pumping machines and insecticides, as well as cash, under the scheme.
“Each farmer will be given a loan based on his production capacity.
“We have already made arrangements with anchors who will buy the rice and process it when farmers harvest their produce,’’ he said.
He hailed the Federal Government for introducing the Anchor Borrower’s Programme through the CBN, saying that it had improved rice production in the country.