Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has urged the over 5,000 beneficiaries of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) agricultural loan in the state to pay up.
The governor made the appeal at an interactive meeting with some of the farmers at Kadawa, Garun-Mallam Local Government Area of the state.
He said that the loan was not free and all the beneficiaries must pay back to enable others benefit.
The governor reminded them that “an individual farmer or group may repay the loan in cash or with bags of rice.”
Ganduje said the ABP had achieved its objective in the state, as it had helped to boost rice production by 96 per cent in 2016 over the 2015 output.
According to him, wheat production also recorded 84 per cent increase during the period.
Earlier, a representative of the CBN, AbdulKadir Ahmad, said N960 million was allocated to Kano farmers and each benefitted with N367,000.
Chairman of the state ABP Recovery Team, Prof. Mahmud Daneji, said that some of the 5, 540 farmers who benefited from the programme had started paying back.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Yusuf Gawuna disclosed that the state government had assisted wheat farmers with N150 million to procure seeds in 2016, and some amounts were recovered from the beneficiaries.
Some of the farmers that spoke at the session expressed satisfaction with the programme, but suggested that the loan should not be released late as was done in 2016.
They also complained of difficulty in accessing fertilizer.
NAN reports that the Federal Government is targeting the production of one million metric tons of paddy rice under the programme.
The programme is also meant to create economic linkages between the over 600,000 smallholder farmers and reputable large-scale processors, to raise agricultural output and improve capacity utilization of integrated mills.