Nigeria: Jigawa state to boost rice, wheat production

The Jigawa Government has adopted proactive farmer support programmes to boost the production of paddy rice and wheat in the state. Governor Badaru Abubakar disclosed this on Friday during an inspection visit to wheat plantations in Auyo Local Government Area of the state. He said that the measures were designed to enhance the farmers’ access to fertilizers, seeds and chemicals, while encouraging farm mechanization and crop processing. He said that the measures would also boost project finance and enhances farmers’ skills, adding that they were particularly directed at adding value to harvested rice and wheat, providing markets for the crops and achieving self-sufficiency in rice and wheat production. Abubakar said that the state government had distributed fertilizers and seeds to farmers for dry season farming. The governor said that farmers in the state were expected to produce about 125, 000 tonnes of wheat and one million tonnes of rice during the rainy and dry seasons respectively. He said, “The state government, in collaboration with the Federal Government, implemented the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme to support farmers as well as encourage rice and wheat cultivation.” Abubakar said that his administration had worked out some modalities to expand the scope of the scheme to promote agricultural production. He said that the state government, in partnership with the World Bank, would construct access roads to farmlands to ease the transportation of farm produce to the markets, while improving the socioeconomic well-being of the people. The Central Bank of Nigeria, in partnership with the federal and state governments, initiated the ABP to enhance agricultural financing. The programme is a critical component of the Federal Government’s agricultural policy which was aimed at enhancing farmers’ access to inputs and financing. It is also designed to encourage agricultural mechanization, crop processing and agricultural enterprises. Statistics from Jigawa’s Ministry of Agriculture showed that some 36, 250 farmer clusters were registered and incorporated into the ABP.

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